By Neal Putnam
Robert Buechner, 70, of Ramona, will be sentenced to state prison and not receive probation after he pleaded guilty July 12 to three felony counts of molesting a 15-year-old boy in Chula Vista, according to the prosecutor.
Buechner, a former teacher’s aide at Ramona High School, faces a maximum term of four years and four months in prison, said Deputy District Attorney Karra Reedy. She said probation was ruled out.
Sentencing was set for Sept. 19 by Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis. Buechner remains free on $250,000 bond.
Buechner met the boy through a member of the victim’s family, and the molestation is not related to his former job that he lost in March when charges were filed against him. Ramona school officials have assured parents that no Ramona students are involved.
A message was left for Buechner’s attorney, Ryan Tegnelia, but he couldn’t be reached for comment. After Buechner’s arraignment in March, Tegnelia said his client had no previous accusations in his 30 years in education. Buechner is married with adult children.
Buechner pleaded guilty to oral copulation, sodomy, and sexual penetration with a minor. Eight other counts were dropped after he pleaded guilty to three counts.
The guilty pleas mean the boy will not have to testify, said Reedy. A July 24 preliminary hearing was canceled. The judge isn’t bound by the maximum sentence and she could impose a lower term such as 16 months.
He will have to register as a sex offender with a law enforcement agency where he lives following his parole, the prosecutor said.