An attorney for the former JSerra Catholic High School student who alleges a Spanish teacher at the school raped her says he believes there are other victims who have yet to come forward.
Last week, Orange County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ricardo Aldana, 37, of Dana Point—a Spanish teacher and coach at JSerra—f. JSerra officials quickly fired Aldana.
The Sheriff's Department confirmed that it is seeking other possible victims.
Aldana's lawyer denied the allegations.
"The evidence will show that it simply didn't happen," said attorney Michael Molfetta. "It's simply not true."
The lawyer representing the alleged victim was in court Monday, successfully seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Aldana from contacting the girl. He said he plans to return to court Jan. 4 to make the restriction permanent.
“This teacher was put in a position where he had free access to kids,” said attorney Vince Finaldi. He suspects there could be other victims with whom Aldana had contact while working as a teacher and soccer and volleyball coach.
No charges have been filed in the case.
“We’re very, very, very fearful he would try to contact the family and try to physically hurt her or dissuade her,” Finaldi said. “He knows where she lives. That’s the concern.”
But Molfetta said his client takes no issue with the restraining order and would want one against the victim.
"The feeling is very mutual. We would like her to be restrained, too," Molfetta said.
Finaldi said Aldana met his client when she was 13. She had just turned 14 when the alleged rape occurred.
Although the girl no longer attends JSerra, her lawyer said the contact continued after she left the school. Aldana picked up the girl last week from her home and drove her to his Dana Point apartment, where she spent the night, authorities said. The next day, she told her mother what had happened, authorities said.
Molfetta believes the girl's lawyer is preparing a civil case to bring against Aldana in the future.
Finaldi said he is "not necessarily" bringing a civil case, and at this point, just wants authorities to get the full story.
“She’s got a very good and supportive mother. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have come forward,” Finaldi said.
Meanwhile, many JSerra students have fervently been defending Aldana online. and a San Clemente-based band wrote a song in his honor.
“The general public is not familiar with sexual abuse of young kids," Finaldi said. "They have an idea of the portly man who’s greasy, and he’s a recluse. But that’s typically not the case.
“Usually, they’re very engaging ... with a magnetic personality,” he said.
The girl's lawyer fears the groundswell of support among JSerra students will keep other potential victims from coming forward.
“It means no one believes you,” he said.
Molfetta said he wouldn't recommend the victim's family buy a "yacht" just yet in anticipation of a civil court victory.
"I also wouldn't be building him a jail anytime soon. This has a long way to go," he said.