The South Bay teacher acquitted on charges of molesting a student who also was her godson would love to return to teaching.
It took the jury less than five hours to acquit Carmina Lopez, 33, of 10 counts of lewd acts on a minor and one count of furnishing marijuana.
"I just want to say thank you, Jesus," Lopez said outside court surrounded by family and friends who supported her throughout the trial.
In the trial, a boy, now 16 years old, testified that Lopez molested him when he was her student at Nestor Elementary School. He said the relationship lasted four years, even after Lopez started teaching at Sunnyslope Elementary School.
"He was not credible. I can't think of anything we believed that he said," said juror Fred Bisharoon. He said there was no hard evidence to convince the jury that she molested the boy.
"If they don't believe him, why don't that just lend their children to her?" said the accuser's grandmother, who came to the courthouse and called Lopez a rapist.
The accuser's mother said, "I think the system failed my son. It was wrong what she did. My son doesn't deserve this. I just hope she pays for what she did."
But Bisharoon wished her well, saying " I just hope she can get her life back. That's a heck of a thing for a teacher to be accused of."
A jury deliberated for only five hours in the case of a godmother accused of molesting a young boy who was also her student.
The jury found 33-year-old Carmina Lopez not guilty of all 11 counts on Monday.
The South Bay teacher cried and hugged her attorney as the verdicts were read at the El Cajon courthouse. Friends and family members who have supported Lopez throughout the trial cheers outside the courtroom as the verdicts were read.
Lopez had been accused of molesting the boy over a four-year period, beginning when he was 11. The defendant, however, said the boy was the aggressor and that he raped her, threatening to turn on her if she told anyone.
Lopez testified during the trial that the boy at one point grabbed her, threw her on the ground and began biting her cheek.
"He said, 'Pull your pants down, pull your pants down,' and I remember thinking, 'I'm not going to pull my pants down. He can bite me all he wants, I'm not going to pull my pants down,' " testified Lopez.
She told the court that she convinced him to get off her, and then he started laughing and saying it was just a joke, also saying he would turn things around if she ever told anybody.
After that incident, Lopez testified that the alleged victim raped her.
“He took me to master bedroom, and put me on the ground, and this time he raped me,” she told the jury. “I remember the top part of my body was immobile. I couldn't move the top part of my body, and my right leg was in that direction."
With her friends behind her on Monday, Lopez said she was not surprised by the verdict. She did, of course, say she was relieved, however.
After the judge released the jury, one person who sat on the panel said the decision was not difficult for jurors to reach, saying that they simply did not believe Lopez's accuser.
Lopez said after the verdict was read that she would love to go back to teaching.