Mistrial declared for former East County teacher

Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 19:51:32-04

Jurors deadlocked Tuesday in the trial of a former East County elementary school teacher accused of molesting nine young girls while they were students in his classroom.

Prosecutors allege Robert Noel Anderson, 59, molested eight of the girls while teaching fourth- and sixth-grade classes at Dehesa Elementary School between 2003 and 2006.

Jurors told Judge Laura Halgren that they were deadlocked on 11 counts of committing a lewd act on a child and acquitted Anderson of a 12th count, prompting her to declare a mistrial.

Anderson -- who remains in custody on $800,000 bail --- will be back in court Oct. 9 for a status conference.

Deputy District Attorney Chantal de Mauregne told jurors that Anderson betrayed a position of trust when he allegedly molested the students, who were between 9 and 11 years old at the time.

Several alleged victims testified at a preliminary hearing last year that Anderson touched them inappropriately as they sat on his lap in class.

Anderson's attorney, Kerry Armstrong, told the jury that his client adamantly denies touching the girls.