Bay Area teacher’s child molestation trial begins

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)

Prosecutors say a San Jose school teacher accused of molesting students had blindfolded some of the children and made them perform oral sex in his classroom.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that both sides presented opening statements on Monday in the trial of 36-year-old O.B. Whaley Elementary School teacher Craig Chandler (http://bit.ly/13qStrY ).

Chandler faces 75 years to life in prison if convicted by a jury of five counts of child molestation with multiple-victims enhancements.

Prosecutors also said investigators found Chandler’s semen on classroom chairs.

Defense attorneys said the semen came from Chandler’s consensual sexual relationship with a woman. They also said the blindfolding was part of a classroom exercise on compassion for blind people like Helen Keller.

The trial was scheduled to resume Tuesday.

Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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