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Teacher pleads no contest to child molestation

City News Service | 8/22/2012, 12:19 p.m.

A former Compton elementary school teacher pleaded no contest to charges of molesting two female students.

Former Foster Elementary School teacher Ronald Sture Hoppe, 46, pleaded no contest to two felony counts of lewd acts on a child and two misdemeanor counts of lewd conduct, according to the district attorney's office. He entered his plea just as jury selection was about to begin in his retrial. Two years ago, a jury deadlocked in Hoppe's original trial, and a mistrial was declared.

According to prosecutors, the Diamond Bar resident groped a student during the 2005-06 school year, and another the following year. The girls were between 8 and 9 years old, prosecutors said. He was originally charged with lewd acts on a third girl, but those charges were dropped.

As part of his plea agreement, Hoppe agreed to complete 52 weeks of sex-offender classes. He is also prohibited from having any contact with minor children other than relatives, as long as an adult is present. He is also barred from trying to work at a school, day care or tutoring center, or any other business involving children.

Sentencing was put on hold for 36 months. If Hoppe completes the terms of his plea agreement, he will be sentenced for the two misdemeanors and the two felonies will be dismissed. If he does not adhere to the plea deal, he will be sentenced to six years in prison, prosecutors said.