Calif. Sunday School Teacher May Also Face Rape Charge

Will be charged today; may face death penalty
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2009 7:58 AM CDT
Calif. Sunday School Teacher May Also Face Rape Charge
Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman speaks to the media regarding the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu in Tracy, Calif., on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.   (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Macor)

The California Sunday school teacher set to be accused of killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu may also face rape and child molestation charges, qualifying her for the death penalty, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Melissa Huckaby will be arraigned this afternoon; prosecutors will charge her with murder but are debating whether to add the “special-circumstances” charges.

“I understand why the public would be stunned," said the deputy DA. "Our office will treat this like we treat all of our cases with victims. Each victim is special, and each defendant will be accorded every right they deserve." Public information on the case is scant, and officials have yet to deduce a motive, but insiders say Sandra was killed at the church where Huckaby teaches Sunday school. Huckaby has previous shoplifting and petty theft convictions.
(More crime stories.)

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