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Ex-East Palo Alto Teacher Convicted For Sex Acts With Student

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) – A former female teacher at an East Palo Alto charter school has been convicted in San Mateo County Superior Court of four counts of committing sexual acts on a 15-year-old male student in 2015.

Danielle Matko, 35, of Belmont, was convicted Tuesday by a jury in the court of Judge Jonathan Karesh of one count of oral copulation on a minor and three counts of lewd acts upon a child, according to Chief San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti.

Following the verdicts, Karesh ordered Matko into custody on no-bail status, Guidotti said.

Danielle Matko
Danielle Matko (San Mateo Co. Sheriff's Office)

Guidotti said that as midday Wednesday, the jury was continuing to deliberate on two additional counts.

At the time of the incidents in the fall of 2015, Matko was teaching at the Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy.

Prosecutors alleged that in September 2015, she was talking with the student in her classroom during a free period and showed him her bare breasts, allowed him to touch them and then touched him sexually.

On a later occasion, she orally copulated him, prosecutors said.

Matko's four convictions stem from those incidents, Guidotti said.

The jury was continuing to deliberate on a charge of a second act of oral copulation with that student and on a charge of a lewd act with the first victim and a second 15-year old, Guidotti said.

Prosecutors allege the latter incident occurred in November 2015, when both 15-year-olds were in Matko's classroom. She allegedly removed her blouse and let both victims touch her bare breasts, prosecutors said.

Guidotti said the victims told their friends about the incidents and eventually one of the friends reported the allegations to a legal aid lawyer, who called the police.

Matko denied any illegal conduct and claimed the victims were making up the story, Guidotti said.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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