CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. - A sixth grade science and math teacher from Richmond was convicted Thursday of molesting over a dozen victims for several years, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors said Ronald Guinto, 32, faces life in prison with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on March 24 in Martinez.
He was found guilty on 87 of the 90 counts he was charged with, including forcible child molestation, witness dissuasion and kidnapping, according to prosecutors.
In 2002, Guinto lured his first victim, a then 12-year-old boy, through an AOL chat room to sneak out of his home. Prosecutors said Guinto proceeded to molest the boy on multiple occasions in Santa Clara and Solano counties.
The defendant was convicted of 29 counts of child molestation and kidnapping for acts committed with this victim alone, prosecutors said.
Between 2008 and 2009, Guinto participated as a camp counselor for summer camps in San Jose, where he molested multiple victims. Additionally, prosecutors said Guinto kidnapped and molested another 12-year-old boy from a church.
Prosecutors said in 2009, as part of a project with his Master's Program at Tuoro University, Guinto opened
"Camp Epic" - a camp for kids to attend amusement parks, camp outdoors and go on other overnight trips.
Upon graduation from Tuoro in 2012 he began teaching at Making Waves Academy.
According to prosecutors, parents allowed their children to join "Camp Epic," and go with Guinto on the overnight trips alone.
Prosecutors said while on the trips, Guinto would show the children pornography, encourage sexual conversations amongst campers and molest the children in their tents.
During his brief employment with Making Waves Academy from 2012 to 2013, he molested several children in multiple counties in Northern California, in addition to his own home.
In a statement, Deputy District Attorney Alison Chandler praised the jury for their guilty verdict, and called the perseverance and courage by the victims inspiring.
Chandler said she was proud of the victims, and that justice had been served.