Former Marlborough School English teacher and Santa Monica resident pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to four criminal counts of sexually abusing two female students in 2000 and 2004.
Joseph Koetters was sentenced to a year in county jail and will be required to register as a sex offender as part of a plea deal.
Koetters allegedly initiated a sexual relationship for more than a year with a then-16-year-old female starting in 2000. Then he allegedly had a sexual relationship with another then-16-year-old female between February and June of 2004.
“When I was 16, Joseph Koetters, my then 11th grade English teacher at Marlborough School, systematically lured me into a yearlong sexual relationship,” the 2000 victim said at the hearing.
After the hearing at 210 W. Temple Street, attorney Dave Ring, who represents both victims, said that Marlborough received reports about Koetters’ actions, but the reports were “shrugged off.”
“Marlborough could have prevented this,” Ring said.
Ring explained that Koetters had a history of inappropriate behavior before he started working at the all-girls school for grades 7-12 at 250 Rossmore Ave., from 1999 to 2013. Ring said other women also came out and claimed more sexual abuse by Koetters, but they chose not to bring a lawsuit forward.
Koetters pleaded not guilty in February to sexually abusing the student in 2000, and in May pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing the other student in 2004.
The case originally started when another former student posted an essay on a public website detailing the flirtatious emails Koetters sent her and his sexual advances when she attended Marlborough.
The 2000 victim reported the alleged abuse in July 2014. Charges were filed against Koetters in February by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“While I’d never planned to come forward with my story, this realization triggered in me an unrelenting drive to protect other girls at all costs,” the 2000 victim said.
The 2004 victim also said she kept the abuse a secret for over a decade.
A civil suit regarding the relationship with the 2000 victim was filed in April against Koetters and Marlborough School, according to Ring. He said another one for the 2004 will be filed in the next few days.
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