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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Glendale

Teacher Waives Right to Hearing in Sex Case

April 22, 1999|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN

A Granada Hills High School teacher accused of having sex with one of her 17-year-old students waived her right to a preliminary hearing, choosing to stand trial in Superior Court, authorities said Wednesday.

Florine Marie Strimel, 35, pleaded not guilty last month to seven felonies, including five counts of having unlawful sex with a minor and two counts of oral copulation with a minor.

Strimel's attorney, William Wooten, could not be reached for comment on his client's decision Tuesday to skip the preliminary hearing.

If convicted, the Glendale resident could face a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison.

Strimel, who was arrested March 12 and is being held at Twin Towers Jail in lieu of $265,000 bail, is scheduled to appear in Pasadena Superior Court for arraignment May 4.

She is suspected of having sexual relations with one of her English students at her Salem Street home between Feb. 13 and Feb. 25, prosecutors said.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials have admitted that police had investigated Strimel on similar allegations when she was a substitute teacher in 1996 and 1997. No action was taken, district officials said, because the allegations were not substantiated.

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