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Not the 1st time he's been accused of rape

Original post made by local resident, El Carmelo School, on Nov 2, 2007

Todd Burpee was accused of raping a Paly student several years ago, but no charges were ever filed. Maybe people should have believed the girl--she ended up transferring to Gunn & then to a school out of town to get away from the stigma.

Comments (17)

Posted by michelle v
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 5:29 pm

If this is true IT AN OUTRAGE !

Conduct a full inquiry and heads not to mention law suits will roll as they may

Posted by parent of a Gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 2, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Interesting piece of data. Now can someone please provide supporting evidence to make this more than hearsay, for those of us who have not heard of this before?

Posted by Put a sock in it
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Such OUTRAGE over an unsubstantiated rumor about an uproven charge! Why is everyone ready to play lawmaker/police officer/judge/jury/executioner based on... what? Chill out - count your blessings, be safe, be careful, and wait for facts before you spout off.

Posted by debora
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:31 pm

I want a full disclosure about this given that incident with the teacher at jordan and the

denial and cover up i do not feel safe with the governance by the school district-- this is

our lives!!!!!!!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:18 am

If anything warrants outrage this does. It also warrants an immediate response from those in authority. Can the outrage.

Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:42 pm

If true, that's really sad. One girl didn't get justice, and another girl might have not become a victim f he were in jail.

It must take a lot of courage for the victims to come forward in cases like these. The community should offer them its full support. And sentences for those convicted should be, throw away the key, because there is every reason to believe they will continue to commit these crimes if they are released back into society.

Posted by Ex Paly Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 3, 2007 at 8:32 pm

My daughter who graduated from Paly (and knew who Burpee was) told me a very similar story. She told me that she herself had not believed the girl... I hope adequate light is shed on this too.

Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2007 at 3:24 pm

We need to keep a level head about these allegations and not be biased through hearsay.

Not to claim the allegations are not true but it is best probably to address them through the courts and legal process.

On a related matter I am struck by the issues around this incident and those concerning the case of the 3 Duke University students 18 months ago.

They were falsely accused of rape by a corrupt DA who wanted to manipulate the community so he would keep his job.

These innocent students were also in their early 20s

You remember how the faculty and students at Duke inflamed the situation and dragged these innocent boys reputation through the mud on the basis of no evidence, in fact there was compelling objective evidence that they were completely innocent from the beginning.

Remember how the New York times piled on continually along with CNN,MSNBC, Sharpton, Jessie Jackson etc etc.
NON OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE APOLOGIZED for their vicious attacks.

Now that is not how we do things in Palo Alto, the DA and the PAPD are ethical and committed to the rule of law and due process.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Parent of Paly alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 4, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Come on. This case is in no way similar to the Duke case! It seems pretty clearcut. Young girl is viciously attacked and raped and was able to identify her assailant, who has a criminal record and who may have raped another girl in the past.

If there is any similarity, it's the other way around--it may be that the similarity lies in the fact that the previous girl who was purportedly raped by this guy was forced into silence because people did not believe her, just like no one believed the Duke boys.

The present case has little to do with race, vigilante DAs, etc. But the possible previous victim's story should be further investigated because if it is indeed true that no one believed her and the Paly administration took no action, then we have to find out what happened and make sure that in the future, every single "allegation" is thoroughly investigated, so that we can prevent further criminal activity.

I think we should stop coming up with excuses for the attacker and stop thinking that our community should soul-search etc. for the reasons why he became the way he is. The fact is that we don't know. We can only speculate about what drove him. Lots of people have had difficult childhoods but most do not commit heinous crimes.

What we do know is that it was a vicious attack and that he should be prosecuted and kept off the street, so he can't do it to someone else. He's responsible for his vicious act (from all accounts, there's little doubt that he did it), not his parents, his teachers, Paly administrators/teachers, or the community.

So far, except for Trudy's post, I have not heard very much about reaching out to the young victim and her family, only about how sorry people feel for the attacker! I find this very troubling.

Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm

parent of paly alum

I completely agree the 3 Duke students are victims and no one came to their defense, even the Dean of Duke condemned them.

None of their false accusers have apologized by 18 months later

Posted by Jason
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Absolutely do not make excuses for the attacker. It is all on him. However, don't bring rumors of previous rape accusations, unless you can back them up.

This one is now up to the cops and DA, as it should be.

Posted by janette
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 4, 2007 at 6:14 pm


Someone posted in another thread that she was the mother of a Paly student who knew the first victim.

Absolutely the first situation shoud be investigated, and whoever did not act properly there has to be held accountable.

Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 11:27 am

It seems to me that there was a healthy venting of anger over the weekend about this matter.
I have no doubt cooler heads will prevail moving forward.

This horrible assault traumatized the whole community,
we were all victims of that.
Victims have a right to express their anger paloaloonline provides a valuable and unique forum for the expression of that anger.

The staff do a good job of editing personal attacks and slander.

In terms of the family, they decided to provide interviews and the content of those interviews was, in fact, very sympathetic towards them, some people believe too sympathetic.

The identity of siblings was known instantly through the school grapevine no doubt and to anyone with google etc. in a second

We can now allow the courts and due process to proceed and see what we can learn and what we can do to deter such vicious crimes in this community moving forward.

This is Palo Alto, not Durham North Carolina nor Salem Mass.

Posted by not from Palo Alto
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Ex Paly Mom and local resident,

if you have relevant info - please contact the police - surely they will look into it.
If found to be true, it may bring some sense of justice - much needed - to the victim.

Posted by Jason
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 5:29 pm


"Someone posted in another thread that she was the mother of a Paly student who knew the first victim."

That is my point. Hearsay rumors are worth their weight in toilet paper. For instance, I once heard that someone said that he had heard that JFK was shot by a crooked bullet. I considered the source, then dismissed it.

If there is any substance to this rumor, it should be given to the cops by the original victim. Now is the time.

Posted by Investigate
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2007 at 9:50 am

Perhaps Burpee's arrest in this most recent incident means he will be looked at for other unsolved incidents, and perhaps even perhaps allegations against him can be looked at again.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:52 am

Nora Charles is a registered user.

People often commit many crimes before they are caught. Thus I am sure it is highly likely that he has done this before. Why are so many residents seemingly on the side of this monster? I find this deeply disturbing.

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