East Palo Alto kindergarten teacher arrested for molestation of a student

Man allegedly tried to bribe family to avoid prosecution

An East Palo Alto kindergarten teacher was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of molesting a student after he allegedly tried to bribe the victim's parents not to press charges, police said Friday (Feb. 11).

Jose Suarez Cerezo, 45, was placed on administrative leave from his position at Green Oaks Academy while the accusations are being investigated,East Palo Alto police said.

School officials learned of allegations that Cerezo inappropriately touched a student and immediately called police, according to the department.

Investigators learned Cerezo allegedly called the victim's family after he was put on leave and offered a large sum of money in exchange for not pressing charges.

He is a foreign national from Spain and was believed to have posed a flight risk, police said.

The department secured a $500,000 arrest warrant for Cerezo but was unable to locate him.

The U.S. Marshals Service and San Francisco police found Cerezo in San Francisco and arrested him Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call East Palo Alto police at 650-321-1112 or text a tip to 650-409-6792.

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Posted by triumph110
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm

This is happening all over the country. Go to and click on the Scandal page. They also have a map of where the incidents have taken place. Already this year they have found over 50 of these incidents. In 2010 they found over 400 of these kinds of cases.

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Posted by where
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Did the alleged crime occur in the classroom or somewhere else? One time or repeatedly?

Anyone know if the school's background checks of foreigners includes allegations in their home country?

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Posted by What a shame
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

East Palo Alto already has enough problems. And now this.

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Posted by The reallist
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Jm
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Good job East Palo Alto PD! This is the second time in two months that local Police in EPD and Palo Alto have received assistance from the U.S. Marshals and the suspects have been caught.

Good work!

6 people like this
Posted by MEMBER
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I am a foreigner too and I have been working in the education system for the last 10 years. While this culture that not allow you to touch children, our culture, as Spaniard, allows us to touch and hug our children to show them that we CARE about them. In some places in this country, the only person who can show affection to a child is the teacher. Culturally we are very different and it is not right to assess a person who comes from other culture from the same perspective that what is expected here. I DON't BELIEF that JOSE DID ANYTHING WRONG. He comes from a high educated and economical sucessfull family in Spain.

4 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm

While these allegations are horrible and it is right the police investigate, we must all remember that for every guilty person that is accused there is also an innocent person who was wrongfully accused. Jose is innocent until proven guilty. We all appreciate that about our country when the time comes to defend ourselves. The worst part if Jose is innocent, he will have to spend the rest of his working life admitting that he was arrested for child molestation. I can only hope this was a strange misunderstanding between the parents and the child. Unfortunately, I have known this to happen.

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Posted by wow
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2011 at 4:56 am

i dont care this was not a very good job in alerting the parents of the children that go there, someone should have been on the phone calling each family, the time lapsed and all of a sudden people find out ..

if this was palo alto school districts they would have been alerted as soon as the allegations were brought forth

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Not necessarily. Remember the Jordan volleyball coach who molested an 8th grade girl for more than a year, and even took her off campus during the day with the knowledge of other teachers?

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Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Dear MEMBER, If a person crosses the line of appropriate conduct with a child, he is a molester, regardless of how educated he is or how wealthy his family, or even what country he comes from. He is innocent until proven guilty, but if he did cross that line, he deserves to be held accountable. No, teachers are generally not supposed to be physically affectionate with their students. That is the job of their parents, who must also respect appropriate boundaries for children. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine what actually happened, and this is used by child molesters everywhere to get out of trouble. I certainly hope this man did not molest anybody. If he did, I hope he is prevented from being around children in the future.

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Posted by Ditto
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Dear MEMBER, a resident of East Palo Alto:

Your points are well taken. A question to you: Why did he alledgedly try to bribe the parents....

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Posted by MEMBER
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Probably, because a simple accusation will stop the process of become resident of this country.... Probably, because he wanted to stay and work in this country....

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Posted by Jack Brown
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Well this bs because his one of the greatest teacher I ever had and he cared about every signal student.He will always wait for all of are parents to pick us up and this is very sad to see that parent accuse him.

2 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I have known Mr. Cerezo for almost 6 years and I have to say that he is an outstanding teacher. I have seeing his dedication to his students and parents. I do not belief the accusation or the negativity the community has given hem. Most of the parents in green oaks have been very thank full to have. I am not a parent nor have had a student in his class room, but I have work with hem. To my perspective as been an extraordinary teacher. I wish I could express my self more but my emotions are so strong I can’t focus. Mr. Cerezo you have my support. I cant say my name because I will be faired asap.

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Posted by member
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Feb 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I have been trying to know in what jail he is in, but all the county jails i have search have no record of him. so please post the info if u have some.

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Posted by MEMBER
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

I just wanted to clarify that NONE can be fired for expressing an opinion. It is this country's right to have freedom of speech. Also, just to clarify, if the investigation is not done right and Jose is not guilty , the police and the entire school district is accountable for the accusations and there will be serious consequences for them.

2 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm


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Posted by jashsf
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

i hear they caught him at the airport trying to flee the country and he tried to bribe the mom of the child he molested to keep her from pressing charges.


2 people like this
Posted by military member n sister of green oaks academy students
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

ok all ya'll people that kept saying that he is a good guy and that its because of his culture and the way he was raised that he "cares" for the students and is allowed to touch them are freaking ignorant b^*^*es. this guy clearly used his background as an excuse to get closer to the students and i do believe that he did in fact crossed the line with the student. my 8 year old brother was in his kindergarden class and he told me that this teacher made them give him a kiss and hug before leaving or else they couldn't leave to lunch or recess or anything like that. i do also belive that Cerezo molested more than just that one student and although my brother will not talk to me bout whatever happened in his kindergarden class i do know that something bad happened to him because he is deeply afraid of cerezo and for the longest time he hated going to school and to this day he still has nightmares of his kindergarden class. students are supposed to feel safe at school and they are supposed to leatn and have fun around these srangers that they are around half the day but how can they do that when they are scared everyday that something is going to happen to them. up to this day my brother hates cerezo and still wets the bed and has nightmares. i haven't been able to talk to my brother about what happened at that school because im in the military and i dont come home often but i promise that if i find out that cerezo touched my brother he will deeply regret it. And for all you people that keep saying his innocent until proven guilty and that he did nothing wrong and blah blah blah, if he is so innocent why did he go hide in san francisco? why did he try to bribe the family cuz obviously when someone tries to bribe someone else its because they have something to hide...all you people that say that you have known him for so long and that he's a great teacher and all this bull shit but think about it...i know all you guys at some point saw something odd about him because i know that the first time i met him i knew that there was something wrong with him.

Like this comment
Posted by its true
a resident of another community
on Nov 22, 2013 at 12:28 am

my nephew was in his class 9 to 10 years ago and i remember that he would cry at night when he was sleeping and wake up screaming "I DON'T WANT TO PLAY LIKE THAT!"

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