It seems like more and more often, stories come up about a teacher having an improper, sexual relationship with students. The latest comes out of West Covina, California where a teacher and staffer at South Hills High School have been slapped with multiple charges after going on trips to the beach with male students. On these trips, 38-year-old English teacher Melody Lippert and 30-year-old district employee Michelle Ghirelli allegedly had sex with students and provided them with liquor and cocaine.
There were two camping trips that took place, both times were about an hour south of West Covina on Orange County’s Pacific Coast at San Clemente State Beach. According to the investigation, Lippert, the supposed ring leader of the excursions, first took a group of high school boys there in November 2014. This time, she provided the boys with alcohol. The second trip happened in December. This time Ghirelli came along and cocaine was added to the equation. For the most part, the same boys were taken each time. It is said that Lippert had sex with an 18-year-old. Ghirelli had sex with a 17-year-old and their hook up was allegedly arranged by Lippert. Investigators allege that the women performed oral sex on the students.
According to The Daily Caller:
Lippert, a 15-year veteran teacher with the West Covina school district, now faces a felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse and another felony count of furnishing a controlled substance to a minor charge in addition to the original charges of conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Ghirelli, a school district employee for five years, faces a felony count of furnishing a controlled substance to a minor in addition to the original counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation of a minor.
Enhanced sentencing guidelines apply because the teachers are at least four years older than the students. Specifically, Lippert is 20 years older than the student with whom she allegedly had sex. Ghirelli is 13 years older than her alleged campsite lover.
Lippert faces up to almost 11 years in prison. Ghirelli faces up to nearly 12 years behind bars.