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Leavell pleads not guilty

Charge stems from inappropriate conduct with female student
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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An attorney appearing on behalf of Chancy Leavell entered a not guilty plea Wednesday on molestation charges filed against the Lincoln High School teacher. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office filed a single misdemeanor charge against Leavell, 32, of annoy or molest a child under the age of 18 last month. The charge stems from allegations that Leavell was acting inappropriately with a female student. The attorney appearing in Leavell’s place was Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, and the plea was entered in the jail courtroom in Auburn. “He’s (Leavell) remaining out on his own recognizance, on order of the court,” Valcarenghi said when asked if Leavell would be taken into custody. Leavell is not allowed to have contact with the victim since there is a restraining order preventing him from doing so, according to Valcarenghi. “I appeared on his behalf,” Valcarenghi said when asked by The News Messenger why Leavell was not present Wednesday afternoon. The next court date for the case will be 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 in Dept. 32 of the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville. Leavell, a teacher at Lincoln High School, was placed on leave by the Western Placer Unified School District Aug. 27, according to Scott Leaman, the district’s superintendent. Leaman said Leavell was placed on leave after the district was informed that the district attorney’s office had filed the single molestation charge aginst Leavell. The leave of absence is mandatory, according to Leaman. “State law requires that whenever a teacher is charged with a defined sex offense a school district is required to place the teacher on mandatory leave,” Leaman said. “The duration of the leave is required to be for a time of not more than 10 days after any entry of judgement in the proceedings.” On March 15, an unnamed teacher was placed on administrative leave for allegations about an incident involving inappropriate behavior with a Western Placer Unified School District high school female student, whose age has not been released, according to previous News Messenger reports. In a weekly crime summary report released by the Lincoln Police Department for the week ending March 13, two offenses occurred on Dec. 1 involving sexual battery and annoy child under 18. In the April 1 News Messenger report, “Teacher accused of sexual battery,” both offenses are related to Leaman’s statement about the teacher’s leave of absence, according to Lincoln Police Lt. David Ibarra. The Lincoln Police Department filed a report April 7 with the Placer County DA’s Office, asking that charges be filed against the teacher. It took 4 ½ months for a decision to be made by the District Attorney’s Office as to whether charges would be filed, according to the DA’s spokesman Art Campos, “since the DA needed to examine and investigate the case.”