SANTA CRUZ -- A former San Jose choir teacher accused of secretly recording teenage girls undressing pleaded no contest Thursday in Santa Cruz County Superior Court to several charges.
Aldrin Jayson Nicolas, 26, was arrested in April for allegedly using a spy pen to record the girls getting undressed in a hotel while with a choir group on a trip in South County. The girls found the pen, which contained a camera, in the bathroom.
Nicolas pleaded no contest to three felony counts of creating child pornography. He also pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors for unlawful invasion of the girls' privacy and unlawful eavesdropping.
Nicolas, who is not in custody, is due back in court for sentencing April 25.
There was no agreed-upon sentence with the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office and Nicolas could face a maximum of five years behind bars for his plea.
Judge Ariadne Symons said Thursday she is unlikely to impose a prison sentence, but told Nicolas she could change her mind based on the presentencing report and recommendations compiled by the county's probation department. In that event, Nicolas would be allowed to withdraw his plea.
If no prison term is imposed, Nicolas will likely receive a jail sentence and be placed on probation.
Symons said he will have to register as sex offender for life.
Prosecutor Steve Moore will dismiss the other charges against Nicolas at sentencing, including
more felony counts of producing child pornography.
Nicolas, who taught with the San Jose-based Vivace Youth Chorus, was with a group from the youth chorus at the Pajaro Dunes Vacation Rentals when the incidents occurred. The victims were ages 13-17.
Nicolas also taught choir at Salinas High School prior to his arrest.
Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at Twitter.com/jmpasko96
©2013 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.)
Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services