A San Francisco middle school teacher and coach arrested in March for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old female student has pleaded guilty to two felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child.

Marina Middle School teacher Stephen Pedersen, 45, entered the plea Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court.

He now faces five years in prison under the terms of the plea deal, and must register as a sex offender, according to the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors alleged that Pedersen, who taught language arts and social studies and was a volleyball coach, developed a romantic relationship with the girl that lasted more than a year.

Prosecutors said Pederson took the girl on “romantic dates,” including movies, at various locations in the city.

The relationship was reported to school officials and police after a member of the school staff reportedly saw Pedersen kiss the girl after school in the gymnasium.

School officials immediately notified police and removed him from teaching, according to San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe. They placed Pedersen on unpaid leave when he was criminally charged, and following his plea, his California teaching credential will now be revoked, she said.

A background check on Pedersen, who began teaching at the school in 2001, revealed no prior felonies, according to the school district.

Pedersen’s attorney was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.

Pedersen remains in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25.

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  • triumph110

    This is happening all over the country. Go to http://www.schoolteachernews.com and click on the Scandal page. This year they have documented over 325 of these types of incidents. In 2008 they found 478 of these kinds of cases.

  • Seven

    You’d be astounded by who gets a teacher credential these days. Then again, after reading this article you wouldn’t be surprised. In my personal experience, intelligent ethical individuals with advanced degrees need not apply for a credential. Incompetent? Repeat felon? Worthless BA degree? You are wanted to lead California’s classrooms!