Trial date to be determined for ex-assistant principal accused of having sex with student
Kettrell Berry faces several sex charges
Last Updated: 448 days ago
SAN DIEGO -
A Feb. 18 trial date was set Monday for a former assistant principal at a Kearny Mesa school for troubled children, who is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student over several months.
Kettrell Berry, 49, is charged with rape with a foreign object, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and other sex charges. He faces more than 11 years in prison if convicted.
Berry pleaded not guilty to the charges today in a hearing before Judge Timothy Walsh, who scheduled a Jan. 29 readiness conference.
The alleged victim testified at a preliminary hearing last month that she established a bond with the defendant soon after arriving at the San Diego Center for Children last December.
She said Berry would counsel her, meet her after school and listen to her problems. The girl said she and Berry began hugging at the end of meetings and the relationship turned sexual.
During one hug in the corner of a room, Berry ran his hands down her back and caressed her buttocks, the girl testified. She said she started to develop feelings for the defendant and the two kissed after another hug.
On another occasion, the girl said Berry touched her chest from behind and said, "If we start this, we can't go back."
On April 12, the teen said Berry shut the door to an art room and they had sex.
"He said, 'You're my woman. You understand that?'" she testified, saying she answered yes.
A staff member noticed Berry and the girl go into the unlit room and reported the incident.
Berry was fired after working at the school for nine years.
The girl told a therapist of the alleged sexual relationship and has since left the school, according to court testimony.
Berry's attorney, James Pokorny, told a judge that the teen "despises" his client and would do anything to punish him for what happened.
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