A 16-year-old girl testified Wednesday against her former assistant principal, who was accused of carrying on an unlawful sexual relationship with her.
Kettrell Berry, 49, faces 14 counts of molestation and sex crimes. The alleged victim was a student at the San Diego Center for Children in Kearny Mesa, where Kettrell worked for nine years as an assistant principal.
Berry was fired from the school for troubled youth on April 19 when allegations arose that he was having sex with at least one teen. An investigation later lead to his arrest in early May.
The 16-year-old victim was tearful throughout her testimony in the preliminary hearing Wednesday, explaining several instances in which she confided in Berry.
“I would ask to speak to him, confide in him and tell him what was wrong,” said the victim.
The relationship became physical several months after the two met inside a classroom during school hours, the victim said in court. She said she developed feelings for him and they would often meet and engage in sexual activities for a span of about four months.
The physical relationship started with hugging, but one day he moved his hands to her backside. Another day they began kissing.
“I was touching him on his groin area,” she said. When the prosecutor asked if he was touching her as well, she responded that yes, he was touching her in the same place.
The victim described once instance in which Berry invited her inside a utility closet. He touched her breasts and then she performed oral sex on him.
“We thought that we heard someone open the door, so we quickly got out of the utility closet,” she said of the incident. It was the second time Berry thought he heard someone come in, he told her.
A coworker and the mother of one of Berry’s children also testified in the hearing. She witnessed the two going into a locked classroom with the windows drawn. When the co-worker approached Berry about her suspicions, she said Berry would often get angry and yell at her.
Berry has pleaded not guilty to the child molestation charges. During his arraignment in May, several family members and friends came to court to support him.