Music teacher Joseph Lee Hedderich pleaded not guilty today to one count each of attempted lewd act upon a child, meeting a minor for lewd purposes, sending harmful matter and contact with a minor for a sexual offense, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Bradley McCartt.
Hedderich is accused of sending an 11-year-old girl inappropriate messages and photographs, and was arrested on Sept. 1 in Pacific Palisades. He was released Sept. 2 after posting $100,000 bail.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the girl's parents found her cellphone—which Hedderich allegedly supplied—and contacted the police. Officers pretended to be the girl and continued to contact Hedderich. He was arrested when he showed up for a prearranged sexual encounter with the girl, according to authorities.
Hedderich faces up to six years and four months in state prison if convicted, the district attorney's office told reporters. He is due back in court Oct. 25.
Police say that Hedderich is an independent musical contractor at the Westside Academy of Dance, the California Institute of the Arts and the Los Angeles Ballet, reports the Times. He is not employed by the Culver City Unified School District.
Click to read the Times story.
City News Service contributed to this report.