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Crime & Justice

Irvine high school teacher charged with sending naked pics to a student

Dominic Witter
Dominic Witter

A 25-year-old teacher at an Irvine high school has been arrested on charges of sending explicit pictures of himself to an underage student, authorities announced today.

Dominic Witter, a Laguna Niguel resident, teaches English and coaches girls track and boys soccer at Crean Lutheran High, a private school with the motto, “Proclaiming Jesus Christ Through Excellence In Education!”

According to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, Witter was arrested Thursday night at a Laguna Hills pizzeria after arriving for what he thought was an arranged meeting with the girl. Instead, he met authorities from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Irvine Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and ICE -- all part of something called the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force.

According to the statement, “Witter was arrested on probable cause for allegedly sending the underage student sexually explicit text messages and nude photos of himself. In those messages, Witter allegedly asked the victim to send him explicit pictures of her. The matter is being referred to the Orange County District Attorney's Office for prosecution. It is expected Witter will be arraigned in Orange County Superior Court early next week.”

The statement also indicates “there is concern Witter may have other victims.”

In a message to students, parents and staff, Crean Lutheran’s executive director, Pastor Bill Bartlett, wrote that authorities had hinted at the possibility of a second victim. “We are fully cooperating with the authorities on this matter. We placed Mr. Witter on immediate leave pending the outcome of these allegations,” he wrote, adding, “Please know that I am heartbroken and deeply disappointed to learn of these allegations.”