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Daily Pilot

Newport man pleads guilty to molesting girls

1:26 PM PST, December 12, 2012

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A Newport Beach man was convicted of molesting two girls, ages 13 and 15, and possessing graphic child pornography, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Alex Bassinne, a 51-year-old former Santa Ana teacher, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of a lewd act on a child younger than 14, one felony count of lewd acts on a child and felony child pornography possession, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors said Bassinne taught at two different schools within Santa Ana Unified School District, and while there made sexual comments and leered at students.

In one instance, prosecutors said, he touched a 15-year-old student's butt during a school trip. In another instance, he looked down a 13-year-old student's shirt and moved her shirt so he could continue to look down it after she adjusted it, according to the D.A.'s office.

Someone discovered graphic child pornography involving a girl between 10 and 12 years old in a desk Bassinne left behind at his previous home in Laguna Niguel and turned it over to authorities, according to prosecutors.

Police also discovered additional child pornography when searching Bassinne's Newport Beach home, the D.A.'s office said.

Bassinne was sentenced to one year in jail, three years formal probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

—Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30