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Former teacher's aide pleads not guilty in sexting case

A former Niu Valley teacher's aide accused of "sexting" a 12-year-old middle school student pleaded not guilty in court Monday morning.
/ Source: KHNL-TV

A former teacher's aide charged with a felony count of child abuse in the state's first "sexting" case pleaded not guilty Monday morning.

Cody Onizuka, 25, sat quietly in court during his arraignment and plea. Before the judge, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, a felony count of child abuse and a misdemeanor count of a temporary restraining order violation.

While leaving the courtroom Onizuka did not say a word about his case to reporters, but a TRO filed in May of 2010 states the former Niu Valley Middle School teachers aide talked with a 12-year-old Niu Valley middle school student — repeatedly calling and texting her using several different numbers.

The girl's mother wrote she felt "calls from Cody were very inappropriate and expressed concern about the safety and welfare of her daughter."

In April of 2010, the middle-schooler's mom claimed her daughter got a cellphone from another student and when she put in her SIM card Onizuka sent her a text asking, "Did you get the gift?"

The girl's mother claimed Onizuka had also been harassing her niece and stated, "She did not think an adult should be contacting a 12-year-old girl."

Then after a phone call in May of 2010, the girl's mother took matters into her own hands. She texted Onizuka back, telling him not to have any more contact with her daughter.

But prosecutors said, Onizuka not only communicated with the girl but also convinced her to take nude photos of herself with the cellphone and send them back to him.

Onizuka's trial is now scheduled to start the week of October 10.

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