By Ruby Gonzalez
WHITTIER — The District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against a special education teacher and former football coach at La Serna High School who allegedly got into a physical confrontation with a special needs student, officials confirmed Wednesday.Shiara Davila-Morales, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said the case was declined on Oct. 19 for insufficient evidence. The prosecutor didn’t charge Margarito Beltran Jr with misdemeanor cruelty to a child by inflicting injury.
“Based on a review of all the available evidence, it appears that the physical encounter was initiated by the victim,” Deputy District Attorney Paul Minnetian wrote in the District Attorney Charge Evaluation Worksheet on the case.
“When put together with the brevity of the encounter and the lack of any visible injury upon the victim, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the suspect unlawfully applied physical force upon the victim.”
Beltran remains on paid administrative leave from the school. He didn’t return calls for comment on Wednesday.
He was fired as the football coach in August for allegedly violating certain conditions placed on him when he was put on administrative leave.
Rich Russell, assistant superintendent of personnel services at Whittier Union High School District: “Following the decision by the District Attorney, the school district has initiated discussions with Mr. Beltran and will continue to follow our process. These are, of course, confidential personnel discussions. Our goal is to bring this issue to a timely resolution that is in the best interests of all parties, first and foremost our students.”
By Ruby Gonzalez