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Gang-Related Charges Against Teacher Reduced

July 04, 2002

An Orange County judge dismissed felony charges Wednesday against an Orange teacher accused of helping students threaten gang rivals.

Ronald Cummings, 38, an English teacher at Portola Middle School, instead will face misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, prosecutors said.

Central Division Superior Court Judge Elaine Streger in Santa Ana dismissed the felony charges at a preliminary hearing, saying they were unsupported by the evidence.

The accusations stemmed from an April 26 fistfight between a 14-year-old student of Cummings' and a 19-year-old neighbor of the boy. Police said the boy returned with two 18-year-old friends in a car driven by the teacher.

They threatened friends of the neighbor as Cummings waited in the car, police said. The 14-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of making a gang-related terrorist threat.

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