A former Merced resident and Tuolumne County high school teacher waived his preliminary hearing Monday and was ordered to stand trial for an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.
Jeremy Ryan Monn, 31, has pleaded not guilty to 15 felony charges in connection with the alleged relationship, according to Merced Superior Court records.
He was living in Merced and teaching agriculture at Don Pedro High School in Tuolumne County when the alleged abuse occurred, between April and July 2013, according to the complaint filed by the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.
Monn, if convicted, faces more than 11 years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender, prosecutors confirmed.
Defense attorney David Vogel on Monday waived his client’s preliminary hearing before Judge Marc A. Garcia. A preliminary hearing is a court proceeding which formally determines if a crime was committed and whether there’s enough evidence to justify ordering the defendant to be tried for it.
Vogel said his client agreed to skip the hearing after learning the alleged victim would not be called to testify. Prosecutors planned only to put on testimony from Merced police detectives and not the victim herself, a common practice in preliminary hearings.
“They (investigators) would’ve read their police reports, and I’ve already read those reports,” Vogel said outside the courtroom Monday.
Michael McKinney, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said he was comfortable proceeding directly to the trial phase of the case. “We’ve filed all the charges we wanted to file at this time,” McKinney said.
Monn was ordered to return to court Jan. 15.
A bail review hearing scheduled Monday was canceled. Monn remains in custody at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility on $250,000 bail, prosecutors said.
According to a Merced Police Department report, Monn and the girl had sexual contact more than a dozen times. The police report outlined a relationship that began with “flirtatious” text messages and escalated into sexual meetings, including several at Monn’s Merced apartment.
The girl spent three days at Monn’s apartment in July 2013, where they consumed alcohol and had sexual contact. She told her guardian she was at a three-day FFA conference, the report says.
The report also describes sexual encounters during a summer school program at Don Pedro High and an encounter in a Fresno hotel room. The victim told police she was Monn’s “girlfriend,” the report says.
Monn stopped speaking to the girl about the end of July 2013, after he was hired as a teacher Paso Robles High School. The girl said she kept the relationship secret until she learned Monn had been arrested in June 2014 for a similar alleged relationship with a Paso Robles student, the report says.
Monn has pleaded not guilty in San Luis Obispo County to charges of unlawful sex, meeting a minor for lewd purposes and dissuading a victim from reporting a crime. The alleged abuse in that case occurred between March and June 2014, according to the complaint filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
He is scheduled to appear again Jan. 26 in San Luis Obispo County before Judge Jacquelyn H. Duffy, according to Jan Michael, spokeswoman for the San Luis Obispo County courthouse.
Monn’s attorney in that case, Ilan Funke-Bilu, did not return a phone call Monday seeking comment.
McKinney said authorities have not ruled out the possibility of finding additional victims. The Merced police report describes at least two more unidentified female students who may also have been victimized.