Case # TBA
Date: February 4, 2015
TWO TEACHERS CHARGED FOR ILLEGALLY PROVIDING ALCOHOL TO UNDERAGE STUDENTS DURING CAMPING TRIP AT SAN CLEMENTE BEACH
NEWPORT BEACH – Two high school teachers have been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor by illegally providing alcohol to a group of underage students after organizing an unapproved school camping trip at San Clemente Beach. Melody Suzanne Lippert, 38, Covina, and Michelle Louise Ghirelli, 30, West Covina, were each charged today with one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If convicted, both defendants face a maximum sentence of one year in jail. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, Feb. 6, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-7, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
At the time of the crimes, Lippert was a teacher at South Hills High School in West Covina and Ghirelli was an employee at the Covina-Valley Unified School District.
Lippert is accused of organizing a trip that was unapproved by the school or district by sending a group text message and inviting co-defendant Ghirelli and five other male high school students to a camping trip at San Clemente Beach.
Between Dec. 27, 2014, and Dec. 29, 2014, the defendants are accused of camping with the five students at San Clemente Beach and illegally distributing alcohol to the underage students throughout the duration of the trip.
The Covina-Valley Unified School District reported the case to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated this case.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the evidence regarding the allegations of sexual assault and found there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any other charges against the defendants.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be filed at a later date.
Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.