Corey Hogue, a former high school teacher and coach convicted of sexually abusing one of his students at Oceanside High School, was accused a year earlier of having sex with one of his female basketball players at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, according to confidential school district documents obtained by the North County Times.

By BRANDON LOWREY [email protected] | Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:30 pm

In this file photo, former Oceanside High School teacher and coach Corey Hogue appears during his arraignment on charges he had a two-year sexual relationship with a female student starting when she was 15. Photo Hayne Palmour IV | [email protected]

After an inconclusive investigation, an Escondido school official wrote a “to whom it may concern” letter of recommendation for Hogue that did not mention the accusation.

A report by investigators hired by Escondido Union High School District in February 2006 said there “was insufficient evidence to determine whether” basketball coach Corey Hogue had sex with an 18-year-old student —- which was apparently legal, but against district policy.

Two months later, an assistant principal wrote a letter recommending Hogue “on any level” as “an asset to any Athletic Department.” Hogue used the letter to get hired that fall at Oceanside High School, where he had sex with a 15-year-old girl.

His victim, who is suing the Oceanside Unified School District on charges it allowed the abuse, also has filed a claim against the Escondido district, saying it palmed Hogue off on Oceanside without giving warning. 

Officials for both school districts have declined to comment on the matter. Hogue could not be reached for comment.

A California Teachers Association spokesman said that in general, when a teacher is accused of wrongdoing, it’s important for school districts to respect the teacher’s right to due process. On the other hand, school officials also should be up front about issues that could involve the safety of students.

“Certainly, it’s everyone’s right to be protected,” said Bill Guy, a communications consultant for the union. “But when you’re talking about children’s lives, you can’t really be too careful.”

Hogue admitted having a sexual relationship with the Oceanside girl from fall 2007 to November 2009.

No prison time

Hogue, now 39, pleaded guilty to the crime last year. But he avoided prison time —- or even having to register as a sex offender —- because a court-appointed psychiatrist concluded he was not a predator and was unlikely to reoffend, prosecutors said last year.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Aaron Katz sentenced Hogue to three years of probation and ordered him to give up his teaching credential.

The North County Times is not naming either of the women Hogue was accused of having sex with.

The former Oceanside student, who is now 19, declined to speak with a newspaper reporter, said her attorney, David Peck.

Peck said her lawsuit could potentially seek a seven-figure cash award if it goes to trial before a jury. Escondido received the claim late Tuesday and had not formally responded by Wednesday.

“It is shocking that EUHSD administrators would have enthusiastically recommended Mr. Hogue for employment in another district given what they knew about his egregious behavior at Orange Glen,” Peck said in an emailed statement. “Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that (the Escondido district) put its own interests above those of students in the Oceanside Unified School District.”

Orange Glen investigation

In 2006, Hogue was suspected of having sex with an 18-year-old basketball player at Orange Glen, but an internal investigation neither proved nor disproved the allegations, according to Escondido Union High School District memos.

“There is insufficient evidence to determine whether Mr. Hogue engaged in a sexual relationship with (the student) during her senior year at Orange Glen (the 2004-05 school year),” the investigative report said.

San Diego law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo prepared the 26-page document, which was dated Feb. 24, 2006. In it, attorney Penelope R. Glover wrote that in interviews, Hogue appeared to be giving untruthful answers and the 18-year-old denied any sexual relationship, but investigators noted she wasn’t entirely cooperative.

The report also said that Hogue had asked another instructor in spring of 2005 whether it would be appropriate for him to date an 18-year-old student. And his then-girlfriend, a substitute teacher and coach, told students and staff members Hogue was having an affair with the student, the report said.

The other conclusions:

  • “(The substitute teacher) enlisted the help of students to monitor interactions between Mr. Hogue and (the 18-year-old student) during and after the 2004-05 school year.”
  • “(The substitute teacher) behaved as if she disliked (the student).”
  • “There is insufficient evidence to determine whether Mr. Hogue actually flirted with any students, although others perceived that he flirted with students.”

Hogue recommended

On April 17, less than two months after the investigation results were released, then-Assistant Principal Mark Atkins wrote a letter of recommendation for Hogue on Orange Glen letterhead that made no mention of the investigation.

Atkins is now the principal at Adobe Bluffs Elementary School in Poway.

Atkins was mentioned in the investigative report; at one point, he reminded a reluctant staff member that she was obligated to cooperate with the investigator.

“Coach Hogue has a professional, easy-going demeanor when dealing with co-workers, students and parents,” the letter said. “On the sidelines his demeanor is more intense as he tries to motivate student athletes to put forth their best effort …

“I recommend Corey Hogue as a coach and Physical Education teacher on any level. He is a proven coach, with experience as a player and coach on the collegiate level. I think he would be an asset to any Athletic Department.”

Contacted on Thursday, Atkins said he did not remember writing the letter.

However, Atkins said he did recall a verbal conversation with Oceanside Unified School District officials in which he warned them about the allegations that Hogue had sex with a student.

“What I will tell you is that when people called and asked about him, (I told them) yes, that there was an allegation made against him that was unsubstantiated,” Atkins said in a telephone interview. “I remember saying ‘You need to know what was going on, you should look into it.'”

Hogue resigned from the Escondido Union High School District on June 2, 2006. He began working for the Oceanside Unified School District in August 2006.

Conviction at Oceanside

In the fall of 2007, Hogue, a father of two, began a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

The victim testified in court last year that he kissed her in the school gym when no one else was around, according to past reports. She was a teacher’s aide for one of his classes, and she was a student in another.

In October 2007, he took her to his condominium at the beach and had sex with her, even though she said she didn’t want to, the victim testified.

The relationship went on for two years. She said Hogue kept telling her they were in a normal relationship and in love.

In October 2009, the girl began having panic attacks and told someone she trusted in the school’s ROTC program about her relationship with Hogue. That person alerted authorities, according to her lawsuit and past reports.

On Oct. 15, 2010, Hogue pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawful sex with a minor more than three years younger than him.

Call staff writer Brandon Lowrey at 760-740-3517 or follow him on Twitter @NCTLowrey.