A retired La Habra High School teacher will not serve jail time after pleading guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of public indecency dating back more than 30 years to when he taught at a Chicago-area junior high.
As part of a plea deal with Lake County, Ill, prosecutors, Charles T. Ritz III received 24 months probation and must make a $2,500 donation to the Children’s Advocacy Center. He also must perform 150 hours of community service, refrain from drugs and alcohol, and avoid unsupervised one-on-one contact with minors, according to the Lake County State’s Attorneys Office. It’s unclear if Ritz will have to register as a sex offender.
Ritz, 66, remains under investigation by the La Habra Police Department for possible crimes committed during his 25-year tenure in Orange County. No charges have been filed in that investigation.
No local allegations of misconduct had been made against Ritz at the time of his retirement in May 2016 from La Habra High, where he taught math, coached soccer and served as adviser for the school’s surf club.
Documents show Ritz came to La Habra a year after after resigning under pressure from his teaching job at Lake Bluff Junior High in 1985. Ritz submitted his resignation on the same day that he learned the Lake Bluff school board had scheduled a meeting on allegations against him made by parents.
Former student John Bollman said in an interview that Ritz plied his students with alcohol and pornagraphy. Lake Bluff documents said a student accused Ritz of making “sexual advances.”
The Lake County State’s Attorneys Office said prosecutors were able to charge Ritz with the 30-plus year old incident because the statute of limitations froze when he left Illinois. The Lake County investigation spanned three decades and more than 50 witnesses — producing a single misdemeanor charge that resulted in no jail time.
It is unclear whether the Fullerton Joint Union High School District — which oversees La Habra High…