ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Cibola High School teacher accused of stepping over the line with student on the last day of class was in front of a judge Saturday morning.
Albuquerque Public Schools police say Antonio Ortega, 37, a language arts teacher and golf coach, forced himself on a 17-year-old female student on Wednesday.
According to a criminal complaint, Ortega and the student were alone in a classroom when he came up behind her and started touching her. The complaint alleges Ortega repeatedly told the girl not to tell anyone because he would lose his job.
She also told police Ortega left the room for a short time but continued to touch the girl when he came back. Police say when the girl tried to leave the classroom, Ortega propositioned her for sex.
According to the complaint, the girl caught a bus home and told her parents, who called police.
Ortega was facing a slew of charges for the alleged incident.
"Mr. Ortega adamantly denies the allegations that are being made against him," Ortega's attorney, Eric Loman, told KRQE News 13. "It would appear that anyone who knows him is highly skeptical of these claims."
Loman challenged two of the charges against his client in court. Loman said the judge did not find probable cause for a charge of retaliation against a witness.
Ortega still faces two charges of criminal sexual contact of a minor and one charge of bribery or intimidation of a witness. All three are felony charges.
According to APS, Ortega is on paid leave while the district investigates. Ortega has been with APS for about five years.
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