SAN JOSE (KCBS)— Prosecutors made their opening statements Tuesday in the trial of a San Jose elementary school teacher accused of molesting his students.

Craig Chandler, a second and third-grade teacher at O.B. Whaley Elementary School, allegedly blindfolded his victims, who were all girls, in a “Helen Keller” lesson.

According to prosecutors, the girls were then taken to a back room while their peers where at recess and Chandler would then force them to perform a sex act. There are at least five alleged victims.

If convicted, the 36-year-old teacher faces several counts of child molestation with multiple victims enhancements.

The defense told the jury that the semen police found on a chair was Chandler’s, but that it was from a sexual encounter with another woman.

Last fall, Chandler’s principal at the school was convicted of the extremely rare charge of failing to report sexual abuse to authorities.

If convicted, Chandler faces 75-years-to-life in state prison.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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