- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California elementary school teacher has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing students.

Ronald Guinto entered his plea to more than two dozen charges including kidnapping, forcible lewd acts on a child and forcible oral copulation on a minor during his arraignment hearing in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Friday.

Authorities say six students attending a Richmond charter school where Guinto previously taught and was fired, told police about the alleged sexual misconduct that occurred for nearly a year.

Police issued an arrest warrant after discovering that the 32-year-old Guinto was teaching at another school in Richmond.

Guinto is being held on $17 million bail and has been placed on administrative leave.

His lawyers, Robert and Anne Beles, said Guinto has no criminal history and declined further comment.

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