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Prosecutors Throw Out Child Annoyance Charge Against Former NFL Player

Prosecutors today dropped one of two child annoyance charges against a former NFL running back and high school teacher accused of groping students.

One of two misdemeanor child annoyance charges against a former NFL running back and retired Santa Ana high school teacher was thrown out today.

Jury selection will begin Thursday for the trial of the remaining charge against Joseph Manuel Orduna, 64, of Irvine, who is accused of fondling a student.

Deputy District Attorney Bryan Clavecilla told Orange County Superior Court Judge William Evans that he could not proceed with one of the counts, but did not elaborate.

Orduna, who was a biology teacher and wrestling coach at Godinez Fundamental High School, is accused of kissing a 16-year-old student on the lips while hugging her in the hallway near his classroom in April 2011.

Further investigation led police to another 16-year-old girl at the school, who claimed Orduna had grabbed her buttocks while hugging her, but the charge related to that allegation was dismissed today.

A third student is expected to take the stand to allege that the defendant touched her when he was a middle school teacher in 2006 or 2007, though Orduna was never charged with that alleged crime.

The San Francisco 49ers drafted Orduna in the second round in 1971. He was a running back with the New York Giants in 1972-73, ending his professional career in 1974 with the then-Baltimore Colts.

Orduna, who was a star athlete in football, wrestling and track at Omaha Central in the 1960s, was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1990.

- City News Service

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