Mar Vista ROTC Instructor Pleads Guilty to Statutory Rape, Admits to Sexual Relationship

Martin Albert Gallegos, 48, is accused of having sex with a 17-year old female student

A Navy Junior ROTC instructor at Mar Vista High School pleaded guilty to statutory rape, admitting that he had sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old female student. 

Martin Albert Gallegos, 48, pleaded guilty to an statutory rape, a felony count, according to the San Diego District Attorney's office. The additional count was filed in court Monday. 

In the guilty plea, Gallegos admitted to having sexual intercourse with the 17-year-old; he admitted she was more than three years younger than he was and was not his spouse. 

He was initially charged with sexual penetration by a foreign object and oral copulation of a person under 18. The DA's office dismissed those counts. 

Gallegos was arrested on April 9 after a Sheriff’s School Resource Officer received information that a teacher at the school was in a relationship with a female student.

He was also a first-year substitute teacher and was fired after his arrest.

Sweetwater Union High School District officials said they were surprised at the allegations because Gallegos had passed all background checks before he was hired.  

But a school district employee told NBC 7 that Mar Vista High School did not run background checks on volunteers. The school district could not or would not provide documentation to show otherwise.

Weeks after Gallegos' arrest, a 27-year old football coach at Mar Vista High School accused of lewd acts with a 13-year old student on school property was arrested. A 20-year old tutor was also arrested on sex crime charges.

He faces up to three years in local prison if he is not ordered to register as a sex offender, or three years in state prison if he is ordered to register. 

He will be sentenced on Sept. 23. 

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