A former Millbrae high school teacher who has been charged with videotaping girls in the main bathroom of Mills High School was arraigned Thursday in South San Francisco Municipal Court for possession of cocaine, a deputy district attorney said today.
David Lista, 35, a former English teacher and student body advisor, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of drug possession in front of Judge Elizabeth Lee, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. On April 4 San Mateo police stopped Lista because they thought his driving seemed impaired. After questioning, Lista handed the officers a snorting tube with a quarter gram of cocaine.
He posted a $10,000 bail bond around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, after his arraignment, and was released from custody, Wagstaffe said.
Lista was already out of incarceration on a $125,000 bail bond for three felony counts and two misdemeanor charges in connection with pornography found at his home and the alleged videotaping of girls in the bathroom. He is also facing one felony charge for drugs that were allegedly found at the home. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on April 8.
Millbrae police arrested Lista after executing a search warrant on his Belmont home March 6 and uncovering what is believed to be methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia, according to Millbrae police Sgt. John Aronis.
Police had descended on his home in an effort to find corroborating evidence linked to graphic videos allegedly taken at the Millbrae high school.
According to Aronis, Lista confessed to police about his alleged role in the illegal filming.
Police initially began investigating Lista after a San Mateo High School District tech coordinator identified a server that was overloaded, district Superintendent David Miller said around the time of Lista's arrest. The tech coordinator went to the site and discovered the photos and immediately alerted district officials and police of the incident.
Police believe Lista installed cameras through the wall of his classroom. Miller said Lista's classroom closet area borders on the girls' bathroom.
It appears that the illicit filming took place for about a month or two, according to Aronis. The video, which appears to be of good graphic quality, is being forensically analyzed.
The girls' bathroom where the filming allegedly took place was repainted and broken tiles were replaced immediately following the incident, according to Miller.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Lista on July 29 at 9 a.m., Wagstaffe said. The hearing will include the drug and pornography charges.