Photo: Anaheim Police Department.
A retired High School teacher was found dead this morning in his home after he didn't show up for the closing arguments on the 11th day of his trial. David Michael Bruce, the retired Sycamore Junior High School drama teacher, was on trial for allegedly molesting his students.
The death is considered a "suspected suicide," according to Carrie Braun, spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Bruce was originally charged with 10 counts of committing lewd acts on minors.
Alleged victims said they attended the Anaheim high school from 1996-1998, 1997-2000, 2002-2004, 2007-2009, and 2009-2011, according to Deputy District Attorney Rick Zimmer.
“He would tell them he had Hollywood connections and could help them get jobs in the film industry," Zimmer said during the beginning of the trial.
Police also found photographs of young boys at the residence of the retired teacher.
“The defendant basically has an obsession with male buttocks,” he said, noting that the allegations included “a lot of rubbing, touching and spanking the buttocks of these victims.”
A custodian at the Anaheim school also reported that he once "walked in on the defendant massaging a student," according to Zimmer.
Bruce would have faced between 25 years and 200 years to life in prison if he had been convicted.
Read the full story on The Orange County Register.