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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Altadena : Teacher Pleads Not Guilty

July 08, 1993

An Altadena teacher pleaded not guilty Friday in Pasadena Superior Court to charges of molesting three teen-age male students, court officials said.

Bail for the teacher, James Spencer Mercer, 43, was set at $75,000 by presiding Judge Judson W. Morris Jr.

Mercer is being held at the psychiatric ward of the Los Angeles County Jail, prosecutors said.

He was charged with six counts of oral copulation with a person under 16 and six counts of committing lewd acts with a child 15 or older. If convicted, Mercer faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison, prosecutors said.

Mercer is accused of molesting three boys who attended the Frostig Marianne Center for Education Therapy. Mercer has taught for the last 10 years at the center, a private school for children with learning disabilities.

The alleged molestation involves boys between 15 and 17 and took place off campus between September, 1989, and this month, prosecutors said.

A preliminary hearing has been set for July 15.

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