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East Palo Alto teacher will face charges for lewd acts with students

Former English teacher accused of sexual acts with two 15-year-olds

A former teacher at Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy has been ordered to stand trial for allegedly engaging in lewd acts with students, the San Mateo County District Attorney's office said.

Danielle Matko, 33, of Belmont, is charged with two counts of engaging in oral copulation with a person under 16 by a person over the age of 21 and four counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child age 14 or 15 by a person at least 10 years older. All are felonies. The incidents allegedly occurred between Sept. 1 and Nov. 14, 2015, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Matko pleaded not guilty to the charges on Jan. 5.

On Wednesday, April 27, she waived rights to a preliminary hearing in San Mateo County Superior Court. Judge Barbara J. Mallach ordered her to stand trial on all of the charges.

Matko, who taught English at the school, is accused of performing sex acts on two male 15-year-old students. She allegedly had one of the students touch her bare breasts and rubbed his thigh and penis during a free period inside a classroom. Later, on two occasions, she allegedly kissed him, pulled down his pants and orally copulated him. She also allegedly removed her blouse and let the first student and a second boy touch her bare breasts.

The students told their friends about the incidents. One of the students, who was involved in an after-school program, also reported the incident to a legal aid lawyer who was present, according to the district attorney's office.

Matko has denied the charges and has stated that the victims were fabricating the stories. She remains in custody on $250,000 bail.

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