Former Ceres teacher Matthew Tristan Beale, 28, of Ceres, was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday after being convicted on Oct. 13 of the felony charge of Sending Harmful Matter to a minor, and the misdemeanor charge of Annoying or Molesting a Minor.
Deputy District Attorney Monika Saini prosecuted the case. Beale was convicted of the felony and misdemeanor after a two-week jury trial. Immediately following the verdict, Judge Ruben Villalobos remanded Beale into custody.
Beale faces a possible maximum sentence of three years in prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Beale was a high school math teacher in Ceres and befriended a 16-year-old female student in 2012. Saini said that Beale hung out with the victim at a high school dance, connected with her on Facebook and texted her. After asking for sexually explicit photos, Beale sent her a photo of his penis. He also met the victim alone in his classroom during a lunch period where he kissed and groped her. The victim disclosed what happened with Beale to her mother, who then contacted Ceres Police in October 2012. When detectives interviewed the defendant he denied, then admitted to his improper conduct with the student.
Ceres Unified School District officials immediately placed Beale on leave and terminated his employment.