RICHMOND -- A former Richmond middle school teacher pleaded not guilty Friday to an amended complaint charging him with the molestation of several adolescent students.

Ronald Guinto, 32, with short-cropped black hair, mustard-colored jail clothing and shackled wrists, sat quietly in the jury box in courtroom 205, speaking only to say, "Yes ma'am," in a quiet voice in response to questions from Judge Joni T. Hiramoto.

Shortly after his arrest in March, Guinto pleaded not guilty to the original complaint, which listed 27 charges including kidnapping, forcible lewd acts on a child, sending lewd images to a minor over the Internet, forcible oral copulation on a minor and forcible sodomy on a child, all while he was working for the Making Waves Academy, an independent charter school in Richmond.

Guinto was suspended and then fired by Making Waves in November 2013. He was hired by the West Contra Costa Unified School District in January. He has not been charged with any crimes related to his employment at WCCUSD, but district trustees changed their hiring policies soon after his arrest to more thoroughly screen prospective hires.

Guinto's next court appearance will be in Richmond on Sept. 19.

Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.



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