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Teacher to stand trial for allegedly molesting students

CARLSBAD — An elementary school teacher accused of molesting two of his students must stand trial, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled May 27 at a preliminary hearing in a Vista courtroom.
Raymond Firth, 37, is charged with four counts of committing a lewd act upon a child stemming from reports by two former students dating back to August 2007. An allegation that he committed the act against more than one victim is attached to the charges.
If convicted, Firth could be sentenced to prison and have to register as a sex offender, according to court documents.
Firth, who taught at Carlsbad’s Pacific Rim Elementary School, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors allege Firth touched the genitals of two of his third-grade students during the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years when he was alone in his classroom with the girls.
According to court records, the victims didn’t know each other. Their parents reported the incidents to the school and police last summer.
One victim told authorities Firth touched her on 10 different occasions when the two were alone in the classroom, Carlsbad police Detective Dennis Brunner wrote in an affidavit supporting the arrest warrant. The other victim said Firth had his female students sit on his lap while they used the classroom’s computer, which is when he molested her.
Another student acknowledged that Firth did have girls sit on his lap, but she said she never experienced or witnessed inappropriate touching, according the affidavit.
Firth didn’t return a request to comment on the case.
Torrie Norton, an assistant superintendent for Carlsbad Unified School District, said in an e-mail that Firth taught second and third grade at the school from March 2000 to October 2007, at which time he resigned. She said Firth wasn’t affiliated with any extracurricular activities at the school.
Last October, Firth filed a request to the Commission on Teaching Credentialing to have his teaching certification revoked, according the commissions October 2008 Consent Calendar. Further, the document states Firth has agreed that he will never submit an application for any credential issued by the commission or request the reinstatement of any certifications.
Firth remains out of custody on $250,000 bail. His next scheduled court appearance is a June 25 readiness conference. A trial date was set for Oct. 20.


Justin Thorp September 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Calling for the resignation/removal of Carlsbad Unified superintendent John Roach, assistant superintendent Torrie Norton, Pacific Rim principal Robert Devich, and half of the third grade Pacific Rim staff from 2008-2009 (those who knew about Ray and kept quiet while letting paranoia creep into their daily routine).

Justin Thorp August 28, 2009 at 8:40 pm

firthsguilty: Timing is everything. If you honestly think my situation is not somehow tied to Ray’s alleged perversion, why was I beat up on only after things REALLY began going downhill for the guy? And these consistent had the closest ties to Ray in the first place.

Concerned Parent: I like your style! Would you believe not even most of Ray’s co-workers knew exactly what was going on before articles like this?

Concerned Parent June 9, 2009 at 12:19 pm

As a parent of a child in which Mr. Firth taught that year I am more concerned and angry about having to read of this in the newspaper instead of being notified by the school or the school district. I feel as a parent I had a right to know sooner than this and I am extremely frustrated with the way the Carlsbad School District handled this. It appears they would rather save face than be concerned with the rights of our children. The possibility of pulling my child out of this school district is highly likely. If Mr. Firth is guilty than a group of citzens like you and me will make that decision and justice will be served. I believe that. My biggest concern is how the Carlsbad School District chose to handle this situation and as a parent I believe I deserve some answers. The Carlsbad School District needs to start using some integrity with its actions and words.

firthsguilty June 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm

In response to the comment left by Mr. Thorp, I guess you have to use the word “alleged” in your comment since he hasn’t been convicted YET, but he will be in October, there is no doubt about it. However, your use of the word “stupid” implies that he should have been smarter which sounds like he just made a mistake, when actually he is just a sick pervert who got away with it for so long he thought he do whatever he wanted. His case has nothing to do with yours.

Justin Thorp June 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

And Ray’s alleged stupidity has led to the unreasonable harassment and possible termination of another male member of the Pacific Rim family. Thank you, Ray! ~

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