Ex-teacher who allegedly filmed students takes plea

The former Mills High School teacher charged with videotaping students in a school bathroom and in his classroom pleaded no contest to four charges Thursday and faces a maximum of two years in state prison.

David Lista, 35, of Belmont, was charged with six counts, including five related to child pornography after he was arrested in March. Prosecutors said he installed a pinhole camera above a stall in the girls’ restroom next to his classroom in the Millbrae high school and also videotaped girls using a camera hidden on his desk.

Lista’s attorney, Elizabeth Grossman, and Deputy District Attorney Aaron Fitzgerald agreed to the deal Thursday in which Lista pleaded to two misdemeanors, felony possession of child pornography and felony possession of methemphetamine, which was found in his home.

The misdemeanors pleas were both for illegally videotaping a child in a private circumstance, one count each for the bathroom and desk cameras, respectively.

A separate drug possession charge stemming from an arrest after he posted bail was dropped.

Lista’s arrest rocked the school. Students told of how the bathroom Lista filmed was the most commonly used in the school and how he served as an adviser to the freshmen cheerleading squad.

Lista will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He faces restitution of up to $20,000 and a maximum $10,000 fine for each of his two felonies. He also faces up to four years of parole. Judge Stephen Hall will sentence Lista on Oct. 30.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Lista deserved to be in state prison for his acts done for his own “personal, perverted interests.”

Grossman did not return calls seeking comment.

Millbrae police found dozens of explicit images of underage girls on Lista’s school and home computers in March.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.comartsCrimeLocalMovies

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Video surfaces amid George Floyd death fallout showing SF police kneeling on man’s neck

Teen says he struggled to breathe during arrest: ‘I felt like I was going to die’

Mayor Breed declares curfew after anti-police brutality march ends in looting, vandalism

Mayor London Breed announced a curfew Saturday night and asked the National… Continue reading

‘Extremely disturbing’: SF police chief condemns death of George Floyd

Bill Scott joins SFPOA, top cops nationwide in deeming incident a failure of policing

Haight Street group drops ties with prominent pro-Trump attorney

Amoeba, other merchants filed lawsuit seeking to block ‘Safe Sleeping’ site on Stanyan

CCSF board votes to close Fort Mason campus

College dropping lease on waterfront site to help close projected deficit

Most Read