A former Chula Vista special education teacher was sentenced March 11 to 18 years in state prison for molesting a 4-year-old girl who was not his student.
Loren Grage McDonald, 37, was fined $10,944 by San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Walsh, who also ordered him to pay $2,187 in restitution to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
McDonald pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to seven counts of committing oral copulation and lewd acts with the girl and agreed to accept the 18-year term. Deputy District Attorney Marisa Di Tillio said McDonald would have to serve 85 percent of the term before he can be paroled.
The girl’s mother and grandparents spoke before the sentence was handed down. Her grandfather said he noticed the girl drew drawings of “sad people, clouds and rain” before they learned she had been molested.
“He covered up his secret behavior while reading books to her on how to recognize his inappropriate behavior. How twisted and sick,” the girl’s grandmother said.
The prosecutor said McDonald admitted to having “substantial sexual conduct” with the victim. The first incident occurred Feb. 1, 2012, and the last incident was on April 5, 2013, she said.
The 4-year-old girl may have been the youngest witness ever to testify in San Diego County. Her mother sat several feet away as she testified about repeated molestation by McDonald in the Sept. 25, 2013, preliminary hearing.
McDonald once taught at Olympian High School in Chula Vista. He was terminated by the Sweetwater Union High School District following his arrest by San Diego Police on May 6. He was a probationary employee and had taught for less than a year.
Walsh gave him credit for serving 356 days in jail.