Prosecutors said a former Richmond teacher and camp leader repeatedly broke the trust of the boys he pledged to teach and mentor.
Ronald Guinto is accused of molesting 15 middle school-aged boys under his care. He is charged with 90 counts of child molestation.
"Everybody entrusted he was there to teach and learn to enrich to uplift the students," said Charles Ramsey, a former West Contra Costa School board member. "I feel bad for them. Fifteen young people who are here now having to deal with this monster."
Guinto taught at Making Waves Academy in Richmond and routinely took boys on camping trips with his program called Epic Camp.
In opening statements Monday, prosecutors claim Guinto frequently made boys sleep in his tent where he showed them pornography and molested them. Prosecutors also said Guinto often slapped boys at their private areas and pulled down their pants in front of one another, instructing them "what happens at Camp Epic stays at Camp Epic."
Guinto's attorney said the alleged molestation never happened, calling the former educator a target of false rumors who did nothing more than engage in horseplay and locker room type pranks.
Meanwhile, Ramsey does not buy that claim and said he is grateful Guinto was arrested before he took boys from his school district on a planned Epic Camp trip.
"We can't just make assumptions just because somebody has the title of a teacher that they're a good person," Ramsey said.
The prosecutor said all 15 boys will testify at the trial starting with the first one on Tuesday morning. Guinto's attorney said he too will take the stand to explain himself.
The trial is expected to stretch into early next year.