A judge sentenced Richard Rack, the former math teacher at Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente, to eight years for sexual misconduct with several students.
In the middle of his August trial, Rack, 51, of San Clemente changed his plea to guilty just before his lawyer was to present his side of the case. David Cohn, Rack’s attorney, said in August the guilty plea – which was not made in exchange for any deal – came as a surprise even to him.
Rack apologized to the victims at today's hearing. The counseling the defendant has received while in custody “has opened his eyes,”' Cohn said.
At the sentencing today, the mothers of Jane Doe Nos. 1 and 3 submitted a victim impact statement of the devastating effects the sexual assaults had on their daughters and asked the defendant receive the maximum sentence.
With the guilty plea, he was facing a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Rack stands convicted on four counts involving three teenaged suspects:
- One felony count of oral copulation of a minor under 16
- One felony count of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14
- Two felony counts of lewd acts on a child age 14 or 15.
The most sexually explicit testimony came from victim No. 3 (Patch is not identifying the under-aged victims), who said she maintained a sexual relationship with Rack for months, touching his genitals 20 times in the classroom and orally copulating him in her San Juan Capistrano home when no one else was present.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Sheila Hanson ordered Rack to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He was given credit for 557 days in jail. He must serve 85 percent of his time behind bars, according to Deputy District Attorney Vanessa Woods.
For previous coverage of this case from Patch, see:Prosecutor: Teacher 'Tested' to Find Students for Sexual Prey
City News Service contributed to this report.