A former high school instructor accused of having sex with two minor girls has lost his job as a Los Banos police officer, acting Chief Ray Reyna said.
Dusty Norris, who was a K-9 handler and school resource officer at Los Banos High, was terminated by the Police Department on Tuesday.
Norris was arrested May 18 after an investigation into allegations that he had sexual relationships with two girls while he was a Los Banos High School vocational instructor for the Merced County Office of Education. Norris taught at the school between 2004 and 2007, before he became a full-time Los Banos police officer in 2008, according to authorities.
Norris was placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 9 during the investigation by the Merced County District Attorney’s Office, authorities said.
Reyna on Thursday declined to comment further on Norris’ employment status, citing personnel matters and a pending court case.
“(Norris) is not currently employed by the city of Los Banos or the Los Banos Police Department,” Reyna said.
Reyna said the K-9 officer in Norris’ care prior to the investigation has been transferred to Officer Teresa Provencio, who also has been assigned as the new Los Banos High School resource officer.
Norris is facing four felony charges, including three counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object and one count of oral copulation with a minor. He also is charged with a misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse.
Norris pleaded not guilty May 26. His next court date is a hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 14 in Merced Superior Court, according to court records.
The allegations against Norris were brought up as investigators were looking into Gary Bettencourt, a Los Banos teacher accused of having sex with high school students, authorities said.
Bettencourt pleaded not guilty to 13 felonies related to unlawful sexual intercourse, oral copulation with a minor and lewd acts upon a child. He is due back in court June 22 at the Robert M. Falasco Justice Center.
While authorities have said the former teachers’ cases are unrelated, one girl is believed to have been victimized by both, according to an investigator’s report released May 26.