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Music teacher placed on leave following molestation arrest

Original post made on Jan 17, 2018

The Palo Alto school district has placed on leave a part-time Palo Alto High School music teacher after he was arrested on suspicion of annoying and molesting a juvenile in Sunnyvale.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 8:44 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2018 at 8:59 am

This is a serious allegation and if it is true that he did this PAUSD is acting appropriately.

I will however want more information on this. There is no evidence the 17 year old he may (the article says may) have acted inappropriately with was in a situation where he was her teacher, that he knew she was a minor as many 17 year old girls look older than 18, or that he did anything that would have been acceptable if she was 18.

Unless there is more information on this I think we should be very careful not to ruin this young man's life with allegations that may be unfounded.

Posted by parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 17, 2018 at 9:54 am

@Resident - sexual assault is illegal no matter what the age of the victim.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2018 at 10:08 am

Yes parent (and I am a parent myself) [portion removed.] I want to be sure of my facts before ruining a young man's reputation.

[Portion removed.]

In this day and age we forget that people are innocent until proven guilty. Anyone can make a claim against anyone lately and regardless of the "truth" the court of public opinion hang draws and quarters regardless of documented evidence and lives and reputations are ruined for ever.

[Portion removed.]

Posted by Tony
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 17, 2018 at 10:50 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 17, 2018 at 11:17 am

@Resident, I agree that he should not be tried in the court of public opinion, but his arrest is not due to public opinion. He was arrested because there was evidence. From the article:

"The girl "presented evidence that Reed had made inappropriate comments and requests to her," police said. He allegedly touched her inappropriately and forced her to do the same to him."

I assume you're aware that police are required to have 'probable cause' to make an arrest.

And I hope you'd agree that if true, those actions would be unlawful regardless of the age of the girl/woman.

While the investigation is being carried out, the school is taking the appropriate action by putting him on leave. They are not putting him on leave because of public opinion, they are putting him on leave because they don't know yet whether he is guilty or innocent. They have not fired him, they have put him on leave. Would you prefer that they allow him to interact with students while being unsure about whether he is guilty or not?

You seem to think seventeen year old girls are particularly vengeful. Maybe you've had that experience, but there is absolutely no evidence to support such a broad claim. And you do seem to be interested in having evidence before destroying reputations.

Posted by parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 17, 2018 at 11:51 am

The Mercury-News report says the assault happened at a high school where the girl was a student and the perp was her teacher. I presume this information came from the police press release. Mercury-News report: Web Link

A teacher should know that high school students are likely underage. A teacher abusing the teacher-student relationship should be an additional crime, in addition to the sexual assault which is obviously already a serious crime.

We should applaud the student for coming forward and reporting the incident both to school officials and the police. Her actions may prevent future crimes from occurring.

Posted by Amused
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 17, 2018 at 11:59 am

I am amused by the comment by Bemused. I know nothing whatsoever about this case but I agree with the comment by Resident that we should keep an open mind and not convict this person or destroy his reputation before the facts are known. Bemused seems to believe that no one is arrested without probable cause. I don't know where he or she has been in the last few years but i have seen several cases where unarmed suspects were killed by police without probable cause. Let us not assume that the police acted correctly and lawfully because that is not always the case.

Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 17, 2018 at 12:32 pm


"Bemused seems to believe that no one is arrested without probable cause."

Nope, that's not what I believe at all and nothing I wrote supports that claim. I think this case, as far as the procedural steps taken so far, shares little in common with egregious police shootings and the recent national news cases involving sexual harassment.

From the article, it sounds like enough evidence was provided for reasonable cause needed for an arrest. I can't argue whether the evidence is fake or made up or misconstrued, or whatever. From what I can tell, the appropriate process so far has been followed.

He was not arrested due to public opinion, and he was not put on leave due to public opinion, and he has not been convicted due to public opinion. He has not been fired and his reputation has not been ruined...unless you're one of those people who's going to assume he's guilty based on what's been reported on so far.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 17, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Resident - non one can be sure of the fact right now. It's pretty easy for a news reader not to ruin someone's reputation - don't add to gossip, just listen, read and then take action as necessary.

If it's not clear to you yet, even if she was of age, a teach conducting an relationship with a student is not appropriate.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2018 at 3:21 pm


Reread my post. I had said, if you read the post, that there was nothing to say in the article how he knew this girl or that he was her teacher. Sometimes news articles are edited as further information comes to light, but at the time I read the article there was nothing about how they knew each other and in what scenario the alleged inappropriate behavior occurred.

Of course any relationship between a student and teacher is wrong. The article did not give any information that this was a teacher/student situation.

The point of my post (including the one that has so many deletions that it makes little sense as it reads) is that we should not judge someone until we know all the facts. The facts are not clear and different accounts in different media bring out different aspects.

I strongly believe that everyone should be classed as innocent until proven guilty. We do not want to discredit anyone and ruin the life of anyone who may (or may not) be not guilty of what has been alleged against him or her.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 17, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Resident - it sounds like you based all of your comments on this one article. The other article clearly states she was a student and he was the teacher. You can easily not condemn him by not contributing to or indulging in gossip about the arrest and the Palo Alto investigation.

We, the public, are unlikely to ever know all the facts given that the alleged victim is a minor and the allegations are sexual in nature. I can say, with direct knowledge, that sex crimes are generally the most difficult to prosecute and that the Sunnyvale DPS has, in my experience, done a very good job in investigating sex crimes.

Posted by Trustworthy?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 18, 2018 at 11:04 am

Trustworthy? is a registered user.

Yeah, there's no one that I trust more to run an investigation on sexual misconduct matters than Kim Diorio and her assistant principals.

Notice the first part of her letter is to claim no responsibility.

Interesting that when the police notify the school about a teacher who inappropriately touched a student from another school, the teacher can be put on leave and a note goes out to the community. However, when the police notify the school about a student who assaulted a student from another school, everything is kept quiet.

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