Monterey County

King City teacher pleads no contest to battering 15-year-old boy

SALINAS, Calif. - A King City High School teacher accused of punching a 15-year-old boy and breaking his nose pleaded no contest Friday to a battery charge.

Michael Ciccarelli, 45, was arrested in December, three weeks after the teen was assaulted.

According to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, Ciccarelli hit the boy several times after finding him in a compromising situation with his daughter, also 15.

Ciccarelli, a history teacher and wrestling coach, remains on paid administrative leave, his attorney said.

Joe Cisneros said his client pleaded no contest to a felony battery charge Friday but the judge reduced it to a misdemeanor. The rest of the charges against Ciccarelli were dismissed.

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 16. Cisneros said that under law, his client could face up to a year in jail but that will be left to the judge's discretion.

He said his client took the plea after much contemplation because he felt it was ultimately what was best for himself, his family, the victim and the community at large. 

The judge reduced the charge largely based on what Ciccarelli has done in the community.

This was a time where all the really good things he's done for King City youth came to help him out when he needed it, Cisneros said.

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