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Educator Pleads Guilty in Sex Case

Court: Former Thousand Oaks High coach faces up to three years in custody for his involvement with two female students.

October 12, 2002|JESSICA BLANCHARD | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A former Thousand Oaks High School wrestling coach pleaded guilty Friday to having sex with two female students when he worked at the school.

Jeffrey S. Magruder, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape involving a female student and one count of sexual battery involving another female student.

Prosecutors will not pursue two misdemeanor child molestation charges, though the charges will be considered during Magruder's sentencing, Deputy Dist. Atty. Tamara Bogosian said.

Magruder faces up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 when he is sentenced Nov. 15.

Magruder, dressed in a black suit, quietly entered his pleas during his hearing. His attorney, Phillip Remington Dunn, said Magruder decided to change his plea because he wanted to spare his family from having to go through a trial. "He did what he thinks is best for everyone concerned," Dunn said. "He's taken responsibility for this. And he's had a substantial change in his outlook."

Magruder quit his coaching job at Thousand Oaks High nearly three years ago. He then worked as a wrestling and football coach for two years at Newbury Park High School before resigning after the charges were brought against him in March, according to Jody Dunlap, assistant superintendent for personnel services for the Conejo Valley Unified School District.

Magruder had faced four charges involving four teenage girls at Thousand Oaks High. Dunn said there were no allegations of force involved in any of the charges.

Magruder's case is one of three involving Ventura County teachers or coaches accused of engaging in sex with students.

Andrew Paul Fonseca, 23, pleaded guilty in July to having sex with a 14-year-old Moorpark High School student. Fonseca, a former volunteer wrestling coach at the school, admitted to three felonies, including statutory rape and oral copulation. He faces four years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 23.

Camarillo High School science teacher Chad Wenzlick Pridgen, 31, faces 39 felony and misdemeanor counts alleging various sex acts with 11 teenage boys. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $500,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 21.

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