Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Charismatic Ex-Teacher Accused Of Sexually Abusing Another Student

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Earlier this year, a charismatic ex-teacher at a prestigious all-girls private school in Hancock Park was charged with having a sexual relationship with a student back in 2000. Today, he faces even more charges as a second student has accused him of sexually abusing her in 2004.

During a court hearing today, 47-year-old Joseph Koetters was charged with five counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object and five counts of oral copulation with a former student, the L.A. Times reports. The student was 16 years old at the time when they allegedly had a sexual relationship, which spanned from February to June 2004. Koetters pleaded not guilty.

In February, Koetters was accused of having a year-long relationship in 2000 with a different 16-year-old student while he teaching at Marlborough School. At that time, he was charged with two counts of oral copulation with a person under 18 and sexual penetration with a foreign object. Her attorney, David M. Ring, said Koetters made her feel like the "special star student." Koetters would later impregnate the teen, but she ended up having a miscarriage, Ring told the Times. The woman came forward with her story after reading an XO Jane essay penned by writer Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie. While Gilbert-Lurie didn't use Koetters' name in the article, his identity was later revealed. She accused Koetters of flirting with her, putting his hand on her knee and calling her a temptress when she was a junior at the school during the 2011 to 2012 school year.

Support for LAist comes from

Koetters taught at Marlborough School for 14 years before moving on to Polytechnic School in Pasadena in 2013. He later resigned from his position at Polytechnic in July 2014 after the sexual allegations came to light, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

He's expected to appear in court again on June 23, CBS Los Angeles reports. When Koetters was first arrested and charged, he was released from prison after paying a bail of $140,000. However, after this new set of charges, the judge has increased Koetters' bail to $490,000. Koetters' lawyer says his client is expecting to post bail. If he's convicted, he'll face the maximum sentence of more than 11 years in jail.