A Menlo Park middle-school gym teacher arrested last Thursday for allegedly having a lengthy sexual relationship with a minor female student 14 years ago appeared in court yesterday but declined to enter a plea to 28 child molestation charges.
Bill Giordano, 59, faces up to 25 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender if convicted of lewd and lascivious acts against a child. He returns to court Wednesday to enter a plea and identify his attorney. Meanwhile, Giordano remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail. On Wednesday, Giordano's attorney is expected to seek a bail reduction.
Between 1991 and 1994, Giordano began a relationship with a 14-year-old student he coached, according to prosecutors. The victim, now in her 20s, reported the relationship to authorities only recently after beginning therapy, according to prosecutors. Menlo Park police arrested Giordano without incident at his home Thursday. Police also removed several unidentified items from the home.
Prosecutors allege most of the incidents occured at Giordano's home.
Giordano has been employed by the Palo Alto School District since 1978 and taught physical education to sixth, seventh and eighth-graders at Jordan Middle School since 1991. He also coaches volleyball and track.
Giordano's alleged victim was an eighth-grade volleyball player who also baby-sat his son. Prosecutors are also strongly investigating the likelihood of a second unrelated victim.
The district placed Giordano on administrative leave pending resolution of his case and planned to send letters to parents of students. Yesterday was the first day of class at Jordan. On the school's Web site, Giordano posted photos of himself as a youth football player, his family, cars and favorite things like the beach.
Giordano's case is the latest in a string of San Mateo County teachers and coaches arrested on various charges of sexual assault and molestation.
On Sept. 1, former Redwood City teacher Rebecca Ann Boicelli will be sentenced on one count of lewd behavior on a child under 14. Boicelli began a relationship in 2001 with a 14-year-old student at Roy Cloud School and bore his child in June 2004. She was arrested the following January and pleaded no contest in May. She faces up to three years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
On Sept. 2, former Serra High School track coach Italo Arbulu, 41, will be sentenced on 26 counts of lewd acts on a child, sodomy and oral copulation. Arbulu was convicted May 6 of molesting six boys, ages 10 to 14, that he met through his coaching position on several Peninsula track and soccer teams. At the time of his May 2004 arrest, Arbulu coached track part time at Serra. He faces multiple life sentences plus mandatory registration as a sex offender.
On Sept. 21, former Redwood City church school teacher Joan Marie Sladky, 27, will be sentenced on one felony charge of unlawful sexual intercourse for having sex with a 16-year-old student. The sexual acts between Sladky and the boy occurred on four separate occasions between December 2003 and Jan. 31, 2004 at the boy's home or her home on church property. Sladky, a Spanish teacher at Redwood Baptist School, confessed the relationship to her pastor and faces up to a year in jail in return for her plea.
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