School custodian accused of sexting student
EL CAJON (CBS 8) – A 21-year-old custodian from El Capitan High School accused of sending explicit texts to a 14-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty in court Friday. He was arrested last week after a girl turned her phone over to authorities and they arranged a meeting.
Elias Morales didn’t say much in court Friday, but legal documents obtained by CBS News 8 showed he had plenty of sexually explicit things to say – through text messages – to a 14-year-old girl and now he faces several felony charges. Morales entered a plea of not guilty to all counts.
The 21-year-old custodian allegedly sent sexually explicit texts to a teen student he met at El Capitan High School. According to the documents, it started February 18 with Morales asking the teen, via text, if they could meet up the next night:
You gonna be naked when I walk in lol.
(Then he asks for a picture on Instagram.)
Lol I want a naked one.
After that, the texts became too sexually graphic to show. The content got to the point that the teen became scared and went to school officials, who then notified the Sheriff’s Department.
A detective took the teen’s phone and it didn’t take long before Morales’ next text, asking her to ditch class that day:
Morales: Can we go to your house
Detective (posing as the teen): It depends but what do you want to do
Morales: Smoke and chill
Detective: So you bringing weed?
Detective: I’m in class right now
Morales: Don’t tell anybody ok
Detective: Can you bring condoms? I don’t want no babies – lol
Morales: Yeah, I can.
After the texting session, detectives agreed to meet Morales at a 7-Eleven convenience store on Maine Avenue for a sexual liaison, according to sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Duckworth said.
“My client has absolutely no criminal record,” said Morales’ attorney Thomas Matthews, who also didn’t talk specifics about his client’s case, but after court he added:
“My client, although 21-year-old, psychologically he kinda operates at a lower level of thinking and reasoning and rational and that may explain away his actions in this case.”
Morales no longer works for the school district and authorities believe he may have texted other female students.
Morales was arrested at the store Feb. 19 and later posted $50,000 bail and was ordered to return to court Friday. He is also charged with contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony and attempting to possess child pornography.
Morales was fingerprinted and underwent U.S. Department of Justice and FBI background checks before being hired about three months ago, according to a statement issued by the school district, which says his employment was terminated on Thursday.
“The Grossmont Union High School District takes allegations of misconduct seriously and has taken appropriate steps to support and protect our students and our school community,” the statement said.
Morales will be back in court March 19 for a readiness conference and April 16 for a preliminary hearing.
He faces up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted, Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Renner said.