Attorney requests to withdraw guilty plea for man who admitted to molesting several children at St. Johns County school

One day before he was set to be sentenced, Anthony Guadalupe’s defense attorney filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea on Thursday.

Guadalupe is a former St. John’s County employee at Chappell Schools’ Longleaf Campus who admitted to molesting several children in his car.

Guadalupe signed a plea deal in October to a dozen charges of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under 12 years old. In addition to the molestation charges, he also pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition.

In the defense’s motion, his attorneys argued that Guadalupe is intellectually disabled and didn’t understand what kind of sentence he could receive by taking the plea deal.

The plea agreement said Guadalupe could face 35 years to life in prison.

The motion also said both his defense and a state psychologist agree Guadalupe is intellectually disabled.

“Guadalupe has always maintained his innocence and only entered his plea due to his mistaken belief that he could continue negotiating” a sentence, the defense said in the motion.

Guadalupe is still expected to be in court Friday.

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