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Lake Elsinore Man Sentenced For Kissing Underage Student

Stephen James Wolford, 50, was convicted in May of a misdemeanor count of annoying a minor and sentenced today to four months in jail.

A Lake Elsinore man who served as a teacher in Eastvale was sentenced today to four months in jail and three years probation for kissing a female student.

though a Corona jury hung 8-4 in favor of acquitting him of the more serious charge of lewd acts on a child under 15.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Eric Helgesen today dismissed the felony allegation before sentencing him on the lesser count.

In addition to his jail sentence, Wolford was also ordered to register as a sex offender.

Wolford's attorney, Andrei Lapine, argued unsuccessfully against the government's request to have his client register under California Penal Code section 290, which requires all convicted sex offenders to be listed on a statewide database and alert law enforcement agencies anytime they relocate.

Wolford taught at Eleanor Roosevelt High School until his arrest in December 2010, when he was placed on unpaid leave. The Lake Elsinore resident, who remained free on $25,000 bail leading up to and following his trial, was fired immediately after his conviction.

who filed an arrest warrant affidavit stating that a student at Roosevelt reported that Wolford kissed her just above the left breast while speaking with her alone after class in May 2010.

The girl, whose identity was not released, also told investigators that on four separate occasions, Wolford kissed her on the forehead.

Pabelico said witnesses corroborated the girl's allegations and told him that Wolford paid an inordinate amount of attention to the victim and her friends, telling them, "You're my daughters. I'll take care of you."

According to court records, Wolford has previous traffic-related convictions, but nothing major.

Constant Comment September 08, 2012 at 01:04 AM
We should re-open Alcatraz and send all these pervs there to sort their lives out.}~)
REAL Native American September 08, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Is anyone surprised by his race?..lol
Anon September 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM
No I am sure he has native American in him.
Diana September 08, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Hopefully when he gets to jail big bubba lays a big fat kiss on him so he can know the true meaning of being violated......
Alicia Young September 09, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I am disappointed that this article misleads the reader. Stephen Wolford was not sentenced for kissing a student. That charge was dismissed by the judge. He was convicted of annoying a child for some careless comments that he made. Those that know Mr. Wolford know that a good man and a good teacher is being punished.
buchanan September 10, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Those that lavish in the demeaning remarks are much more the criminals. This man's life, and the life of his family has been ruined. He broke a law. He will pay the price. But to give him a life sentence for annoying a child is beyond comprehension. While there are terrible crimes committed in this country, this is not one of them. You, the public, have been brain washed by the politiicans and those whose income depends on these convictions. In the next few years, you will all most likely know a registered citizen. Hopefully, it is not your son! Stephen Wolford, please contact California RSOL an organization fighting for the civil rights of all families that are suffering.
buchanan September 10, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Alicia Young, There is an organization in this state called California RSOL. They are fighting for the rights of people like Stephen Wolford. californiarsol.org Please, if you know him, his family or a friend, let them know about this organization. It's time that the public find out that they have been lied to, that they are mis-informed on purpose. This type of injustice has got to stop. With over 100,000 on our registry, how is the public going to know who to watch? The guy down the street who had sex with his girlfriend fifteen years ago, or Garrido? To the public and taxpayers. We can't afford schools, but we can afford to monitor thousands who pose no risk. Please start to educate yourselves, before it's too late. We all want to protect children, but the stranger danger is a myth. Those that have murdered children where not sex offenders, THEY WERE MURDERER'S.
SheSharpShoots September 10, 2012 at 01:01 PM
With all do respect to those who say "this is a good man", I would like to carefully point out that you don't know this man at all. And just because he was found quilty of a lessor charge doesn't in anyway take away any of the other facts in this case. This type of behavior is how being a "violator" begins. I know hat you all want to tell yourself that thi is somehow a injustice. I beg you t think about the fact that we don't aways get the opportunity to top a pretitor this early in the game. I hope you all begin to remember how many teachers were kissing you in school. I am proud of the young lady that was strong enough to listen to that inside voice and react to it.
buchanan September 10, 2012 at 03:40 PM
While no one condones the behavior, people like SheSharpShoots wants blood. He is being punished, and his life will never be the same. While there are true victims out there, (I was one of those) a kiss will not destroy this young person, and there are too many false accusations out there. Once an accusation is made, the person is considered quilty when it comes to these offenses. Those uneducated about these issues will quote 50% recidisium rate, but that is not true. 95% of those accused of a offense never re-offend. Most child abuse happens in the child's own home, and those cases, if reported, are not included on our public registry!
jblack September 10, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Perhaps you should learn to sharp shoot grammatically.
Wildomar Resident September 10, 2012 at 09:19 PM
In recent history, I can think of only one case (the Colorado theater shooter) where the family came out and said "Yup, you got the right guy." Typically, these stories are followed by the rants of friends and family who proclaim the guilty person is actually a victim himself and he couldn't have done anything wrong because he's such a nice guy. The mother of Damian Williams (hit Reginald Denny in the head with a brick on live TV) said her son was a "good boy and doesn't deserve to go to prison". Another thing, do not assume that because someone is found guilty of a lesser crime that they didn't perpetrate a more serious offense. The prosecution often finds it practical to drop certain charges in exchange for a guilty plea or a more expeditious trial.
Wildomar Resident September 10, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Rather than you worrying whether or not my son will be somehow falsely accused and put on a registered sex offender list, I would start worrying whether your daughter is going to come to you some day and tell you that this Wolford character was messing with her.
buchanan September 10, 2012 at 10:01 PM
You are talking about violent crimes. Speaking of which, I would rather have the guy who kissed someone living next door to me, rather than the guy who beat a 80 year old up, or broke into our home and threatened our family. But, we do not know where these people live, do we? Yes, there are dangerous people out there, but with 100,000 on a registry, how is the public to know who might be the threat? Do you? And, believe me, if this man had ever touched someone else, the prosecution would have known since they conduct the investagation. Those that do commit a sex offense are most likely not on a public registry, since only 5% in the nation do, but rather someone in a child's own home, and someone who is not on the registry! Sadly, even those who should know, those that serve us and make our laws are uneducated and unknowlegeable about the subject. Rather, they are using this witch hunt to further their careers, making money off of it, or gaining donations from the lobbyists who promote the companies that make the GPS units, have stock in private prisons or both! The public needs to wake up! And quit listening to all the fear mongers saying " Oh my God, there's a sex offender moving in" I am sick and tired of hearing how the children in these families are being treated, being bullied, being ousted from their homes. I am sick and tired of the public's sick comments about how these people should be killed or worse.
buchanan September 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM
con't. I hugged students for thirty years. I wiped their tears, and consoled them in crisis. But, if I had been a man, would I now be considered a sex offender? Our society is sick. My husband is now too afraid to even open the door for a girl scout. We no longer partcipate in Halloween. Speaking of which, the people registered go through hell that night, while not one child in our history has EVER been touched on Halloween. There was a young man murdered in Washington state for simply being on the public registry. He had a wife and two young sons. He was shot 17 times. His crime? When he was 17, he had a 17 year old girlfriend who was considered deaf. Since she was considered handicapped he was charged and placed on the public registry. What about his family? Where were their rights?
vahall September 10, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Gotta agree with buchanan, here. No one is saying this is a "good man". What we are saying is that punishment should end at sentencing. If you want to increase the sentences for certain crimes, push for it. But do not ruin someone's life, earning capacity, and family for the rest of his or her days. Registration and presence laws (limited to 2000 feet or more, from a library, for example) Do Not Protect Children Period. What they do, is create an underclass which is jobless, homeless, and who can not even be around their own families. They can not reintegrate into society. THAT's something to be worried about. Your conscience and your common sense should tell you so.
Reverend Smith September 11, 2012 at 12:11 AM
If you kissed a female student anywhere near her breast or if you touched in any way which she displayed disapproval of, and if you persisted despite that disapproval, then yes.
Alicia Young September 11, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Reverend, I agree that if he did kiss a student then yes, he deserves disapproval, however, that charge was dropped by the judge. So what right does the newspaper have to state he was sentenced for that crime? Wildomar Resident, you said that just because the charge was dropped doesn't mean he didn't do it. But on the other hand, what if the charge was dropped because he didn't do it? How should he be treated then? He was found guilty of annoying a minor for some careless comments. Period. Reverend, what if you were accused of this type of the crime and the charges were dropped, how would you like to be treated? Wildomar?
Robert Lougee September 11, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Chief, There's a whiskey bottle calling your name.
Roberto September 11, 2012 at 03:17 AM
We need to double the the taxes in California. We simply don't have enough tax dollars to put everyone away for life. All those lawyers, judges, prison guards, police, parole officers, prison doctors, prison nurses need larger pensions for the dedication. Let's double down on taxes for the sake of the children.
Anon September 11, 2012 at 03:19 AM
would you please come join me on the Temecula Patch, I found Popeye under an alias.
Anon September 11, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Diamond Bar Patch, sorry
Anon September 11, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Seriously! He is lucky it wasnt my kid. He would be breathing through a hole in his chest and would now be technicially a female.

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