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Sexual misconduct trial of former San Diego County 'Teacher of the Year' delayed

Jacqueline Ma readiness hearing 4/16/24
Posted at 12:15 PM, Apr 16, 2024

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — Former National City teacher Jacqueline Ma has had the start of her sexual misconduct trial pushed back. She's accused of having an inappropriate relationship with two underage students.

Ma appeared in court Tuesday morning, where a judge set her next hearing for May 30. Her trial was initially scheduled to start on April 26.

Ma was a sixth-grade teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary School, where she was named a Teacher of the Year by the San Diego County Office of Education for the 2022-23 school year.

Now, she faces over a dozen felony charges, all related to improper relationships with students. The 34-year-old was first arrested on March 7, 2023, and she was arrested again two days later after being released on bail, according to the National City Police Department.

During an earlier court hearing in 2023, a prosecutor described Ma's behavior toward one of her victims as "obsessive, possessive, controlling and dangerous." The prosecutor also said in court her illicit involvement with the boy began when he was 12 years old.

Another victim under the age of 14 came forward in July 2023 as new charges were filed against Ma.

Ma has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against her.

She faces life in prison if convicted.