Prosecutors in the case against former Palo Alto math tutor Mark Allan Hodes filed additional charges of lewd conduct against him on April 5, upping the number of felonies he faces five-fold — from nine to 52. He allegedly harmed 16 girls, according to court documents.
Hodes, 75, operated Peninsula Tutoring Service from his Manuela Avenue home since 1970, teaching students mathematics at the primary and secondary grades and university levels, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He was arrested by Palo Alto police on Aug. 25, 2020, for allegedly molesting multiple female students. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office originally charged him in September 2020 with nine felony counts of lewd acts with a minor aged 14 or 15 years old. Those charges were related to three underage girls, according to court documents.
The amended complaint filed on Monday includes 42 counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a 14- or 15-year-old child with the defendant being 10 years or more older than the victim; and 10 counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 with no force used.
Hodes is currently out of custody. On Monday, prosecutors sought for him to be remanded to jail without bail, considering the breadth of the new charges and out of concern he might flee.
Short of having Hodes in custody, Deputy District Attorney Michael Gadeberg said he would ask for the alternative, $2.6 million bail. But he said Hodes might be able to pay that amount; he would have to come up with 5% to 10% of the total bail through a bail bondsman.
"It's hard for me to imagine a higher risk individual right now," he said. "It's not enough to say, 'Let's have him stay home.' That's where he was able to commit these acts."
"This gentleman is perhaps one of the most prolific child molesters in the history of Palo Alto," he said. "Historically, victims are very reluctant to come forward. There is no effective means to warn every parent and student about him."
Hodes' attorney, Daniel Barton, argued in court that Hodes has not continued tutoring under any assumed name and that he has been cooperative and isn't a flight risk. The court will formally hear those arguments on April 27 when Hodes is scheduled to enter a plea.
The incidents spanned from March 4, 2002, through April 19, 2019, and were allegedly perpetrated against girls ages 12 through 15 years old. Hodes was 56 to 73 years old during those years.
Gadeberg said on Wednesday that his office was unable to bring charges stemming from additional allegations of conduct that dated back to the late 1980s; the statute of limitations has passed for some of them.
If convicted on all counts, Hodes could face between 72 and 206 years in state prison, according to sentencing ranges. A call to his attorney was not returned.