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Defense attorney says West High teacher targeted by student



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A bail hearing today brought startling disclosures in the case of a West High School teacher accused of having sex with a student. The teacher's attorney said the accuser also said another West High employee had sex with her.

The defense argues that history teacher Jose Fanjul is the victim and the girl making these accusations is a "predator." It's all in the courtroom video KSL obtained tonight.

Defense attorney, Ken Brown, says the teenager accusing Jose Fanjul of sexual abuse also accused West High counselor Marco Herrera of similar conduct.

"She was sworn to tell the truth, and she didn't tell the truth. She told a lie in that case, your honor, and went back to her room and said, 'Yeah I just lied in court.' The truth means nothing to this girl," Brown said.

Still, Herrera pleaded guilty and is serving at least three years behind bars for having sex with the girl. As for Fanjul, he's denying all the charges. "We are contending that nothing happened. But under her version of it, all of it was consensual. In fact, she targeted him," Brown said.

The prosecutor says the girl even pursued another teacher at West High. Sometime after that, attorneys say, the girl was expelled. "When she left the school the principal said, ‘I hope she never comes back because she is a predator,'" Brown told the courtroom.

But the state claims Fanjul knew the girl was involved in the Herrera case and still took advantage of her. Prosecutor Cristina Ortega, said, "That's the first concern I have, is he was a teacher and held a position of special trust."

The judge denied Fanjul's request to reduce bail, a big disappointment for the teacher's family.

Brown said, "We believe he will be exonerated. This bond reduction hearing was a disappointment, but we're in for the long haul."

So Jose Fanjul is still in jail on a $200,000 bail. His preliminary hearing will be in late October.

E-mail: gkennedy@ksl.com

E-mail: tcallan@ksl.com

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Tom Callan
    Gene Kennedy

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