San Jose

Former La Jolla Teacher Pleads Guilty to Having Sex With Student

The relationship was described as sexual and romantic, lasting from April until September 2016

Sammartino appears in court

A former La Jolla Country Day High School teacher accused of having a relationship with a 17-year-old student in 2016 pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single charge of committing sexual acts with a minor.

All other charges against Jonathan Sammartino were dropped as a result of his guilty plea in San Diego County Superior Court.

Sammartino was a teacher at La Jolla Country Day School when he reportedly began a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student, according to the San Diego Police Department’s arrest warrant affidavit.

Jonathan Sammartino taught at La Jolla Country Day and is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student at the school. NBC 7's Artie Ojeda has the details.

The relationship, described as romantic in nature, occurred both while the student was in school, enrolled as a senior, and after her graduation, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said Sammartino and the student met at his home and in his car multiple times over the five-month period to engage in sex acts. Sammartino would wait outside the student's home as she sneaked out to meet him. 

Sammartino, the son of U.S. Southern District of California Judge Janis L. Sammartino, was 33 at the time.

A little more than a year after the alleged relationship ended, Sammartino left La Jolla Country Day and began teaching at The Harker School in San Jose.

The student -- who was by then attending University of California, Berkeley -- filed a criminal report against Sammartino with campus police on August 22, 2018.

Shortly after, Sammartino was arrested in San Jose.

Sammartino faces up to one year in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 21. He could also face lifetime sex offender registration and be prohibited from
teaching again at any school.

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