A physical education teacher in Palo Alto who was arrested this week on a warrant accusing him of sexually assaulting a sixth-grade student two decades ago, was once a city employee as police investigators learned Thursday.
Palo Alto Police revealed Thursday that the suspect, Peter Michael Colombo, a 55-year-old Redwood City resident, is a former Palo Alto City employee. A Palo Alto police spokesman said Colombo worked in the city’s community services department as a part-time coach in the Palo Alto middle school athletics program. He was placed in Green Middle School (formerly Jordan) and coached eighth-grade Green students in the boys basketball team between 2015 and 2019.
Police investigators said Thursday that they are unaware of any of the victims other than the only victim in the case for whom Colombo was arrested on Wednesday.
The alleged assault took place during the afternoon in a locker room at the school, formerly known as Jordan Middle School, according to police.
Principals in the Unified School District in Palo Alto contacted authorities in January after receiving an email alleging assault. Colombo, was immediately taken on leave, police said.
The student, now in her 30s, was in sixth grade when the alleged assault took place, according to police.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office on Monday filed an aggravated child sexual assault indictment against Colombo.
On Wednesday, Colombo surrendered to the Palo Alto Police Department and was placed in the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose.
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