Town Square

Post a New Topic

Sisters abused by former Palo Alto au pair confront him at his sentencing

Original post made on Jun 3, 2022

Three Palo Alto sisters have been haunted for more than 30 years by the sexual abuse they endured at the hands of their former au pair at last confronted their abuser

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 3, 2022, 4:12 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by North PA Mom
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2022 at 5:20 pm

North PA Mom is a registered user.

I am so angry that those girls endured his abuse. I worked in an Addison kindergarten where Tupou was a bilingual aide. I notified the principal and classroom teacher that his behavior with the 5 year old girls was inappropriate. I was told PAUSD approved his hiring and most of the teachers liked him. I was made out to be a paranoid parent. And in all of this- WHERE WERE THE PARENTS who hired this guy as an au pair while this behavior was going on? I have followed this story and the crimes he committed that got him locked up in the first place. Heartbreaking that the sisters have had to deal with this their entire lives. He’s a monster with a pleasant demeanor. So super creepy.


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2022 at 5:52 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

"The children propositioned him, he claimed." He makes my blood boil. A male au pair is a red flag, and so is a male daycare worker. It's a low paying job a lot of women wouldn't want, yet alone men. What they want is access to your children.

Where were the parents is a good point. Perhaps they're too trusting.

North PA mom... as a former North PA mom myself you're not a paranoid parent. You're right on the money and the school refused to listen. My heart breaks for these young ladies.


Posted by Allison
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2022 at 9:55 am

Allison is a registered user.

This is a horrible story.

Was this man an au pair? An au pair is a foreign national who is sponsored by the Department of State to come to the United States and live with a host family for one, possibly two years. After the au pair's program year has ended, the au pair would be required to go back to their home country. This man stayed and worked here, which leads me to believe that he was the family's NANNY not an au pair. If so, the author really needs to change the headline and the wording in the article.


Posted by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Jun 4, 2022 at 11:00 am

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

All court documents refer to the perpetrator as au pair, not nanny.


Posted by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Jun 4, 2022 at 11:08 am

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

The victim impact statement also calls him the au pair.


Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 4, 2022 at 4:47 pm

ALB is a registered user.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office dropped the ball. Justice was not rendered until much later. Who in Palo Alto would not abide by Child Protection Services? Who were the supporters of Tupou? Outrageous. These enablers did not act on behalf of the victims. They allowed for this criminal to reoffend. ‘Sensitivity training’ — no the system is broken. Those who supported this au pair cannot look in the mirror as they worked HARD to keep a perpetrator in the community.
Shame on them and on the DA’s Office for not listening to these girls. Shame on them for not following Child Protection Services to intervene and PROTECT these girls. Those who were galvanized in a frenzied mission in support of this twisted man need to be charged as accomplices. If a teacher knows of neglect or of abuse concerning his or her student then that teacher can be charged and face incarceration.


Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2022 at 11:16 am

Citizen is a registered user.

“His arrest split the Palo Alto community; his defenders vociferously attacked and harassed anyone who stood up for the girls, recalled Karin Tanaka, a parent who tried to get him removed from the schools.”

This deserves a follow up article. Is this typical with abuse cases because the perpetrator is as good at manipulating everyone so that victims won’t be believed if they tell (the horrific Larry Nassar and Sandusky cases come to mind)? And/or is there a local cultural problem that plays into or makes this worse? The way this is described as playing out in schools here feels all too familiar.

Speaking to the issue of being attacked, maligned, retaliated against, and gaslit not just by administrators but also parents/teachers over actions in far less controversial circumstances that quite literally have no downside but only benefits for kids in our schools, and knowing many others with similar experiences, I am left wondering if there is something about the local culture that amplifies the harassment of people who try to do the right thing in these situations?

I am thinking of situations where involved parents terrorized others for threatening the local “brand”. Or administrators created a toxic environment to get the upper hand, such as slandering parents, in situations administrators didn’t want to take responsibility for, that left lasting damage to both affected children and families.

I wonder if there has been any follow up with those who harassed Tanaka and others who tried to get this molester removed from our schools, to try to understand their behavior? Did they feel any remorse, or can anything be learned about what they did so that whistleblowers and beneficial change agents—and just plain helpful parent volunteers—can be enabled rather than made pariahs in the future?

Because the harassment of those who tried to remove this criminal from our schools is as key to this perpetrator being able to harm others as anything else.


Posted by 1drin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 6, 2022 at 1:24 pm

1drin is a registered user.

It's quite understandable that a sexual predator can deceive his child victims through stories, bribes, coercion, etc.
It is truly alarming that ADULTS can be so easily duped by a predator like Tupou, to the point where they attack others who DO see the signs. And it wasn't just illustrious Palo Alto parents being hoodwinked. The Justice system sent this monster to... wait for it... "sensitivity training"!!! Truly pathetic.
Was it just plain stupidity, or was there something else at stake?


Posted by Ben Z.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2022 at 4:55 pm

Ben Z. is a registered user.

"His arrest split the Palo Alto community; his defenders vociferously attacked and harassed anyone who stood up for the girls, recalled Karin Tanaka, a parent who tried to get him removed from the schools.

As a result, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office was unable to go forward with the initial molestation case. Tupou was instead charged with annoying a child. The charges were dropped after he took sensitivity-training classes.

But Tupou continued preying on little girls."

Not much has changed in this county. One of my children has confirmed being sexually abused. The others showed strong signs of the same.

Because a prominent attorney is involved, no one cares enough to stop it.

They don't even care that an abuser is left to volunteer at several schools and at a church nursery.


Posted by Lynne Henderson
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Lynne Henderson is a registered user.

My heart goes out to the victim/survivors in this--and EVERY--case of child sexual abuse.

What many comments miss is that, by 1994, there was a tremendous backlash against assertions of child sexual abuse. Allegations by victims were increasingly suspected of being "suggested" or "implanted" memories, "coaching by parents", and children were increasingly subjected to harsh cross examinations if anything got so far as a prelim or trial.

In 1991, Having reported the "neighbor from hell" because I heard signs of abuse repeatedly, and having had the PA Police keep telling me "the house was clean" and a CPS worker deny anything was wrong, I sent a documented letter to the CPS worker's supervisor a year or so since the first "hint."

The creep was eventually prosecuted and arrested. He pled guilty.

May that little girl have grown to be healthy woman and may police and DAs not be afraid to believe survivors. . . .


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Pescadero’s farmworkers can’t afford the food they’re growing for the Peninsula
By The Peninsula Foodist | 6 comments | 3,833 views

We need an audit of city spending
By Diana Diamond | 11 comments | 2,142 views

 

Register today to support local nonprofits

The 38th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, September 9. Proceeds go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local nonprofits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon. Complete your race in person or virtually to support local nonprofits.

Register Now!