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P.A. coach pleads no contest to sexual assault

Original post made by Jocelyn Dong, associate editor of the Palo Alto Weekly, on Jun 23, 2006

Palo Alto middle-school coach Bill Giordano will get a maximum prison sentence of 5 years, after pleading no contest Friday in San Mateo County Superior Court Friday to 10 counts of lewd acts upon a minor ages 14 or 15 with a 10-year age difference, according to a spokeswoman for the San Mateo County district attorney's office.

The Jordan Middle School teacher's plea change came just days before the scheduled start of his jury trial. Giordano was originally charged with 21 counts of lewd acts on a minor ages 14 or 15.

A judge on Thursday placed a 5-year maximum prison sentence on the plea deal. Giordano is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Aug. 22.

Upon his release from prison, Giordano would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Giordano, who began teaching at Jordan Middle School in 1991, allegedly engaged in a 3-year relationship with a 14-year-old student in the early 1990s, according to San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The alleged victim, now in her late 20s and living in Pennsylvania, claims that her sexual encounters with Giordano began in December 1991 after he hired her to baby-sit his son, according to Wagstaffe.

Giordano allegedly molested the victim almost weekly, ending the relationship in March 1994 when she was 17 years old, Wagstaffe said.

The woman did not report the molestations until memories of the encounters surfaced during a counseling session in 2005, Wagstaffe said.

Giordano was arrested at his Menlo Park home on Aug. 18, 2005 and has been free on more than $1 million bail since September.

--Bay City News

Comments (2)

Posted by R. Rococo
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 23, 2006 at 6:49 pm

Well, mixed feelings here. At least Mr. G had the "guts" to cop a plea and not put the victim, her family, his family and the community through a trial and the trauma that goes along with it. On the other hand, does a maximum of 5 years (how much time will he really do?) seem like a reasonable punishment for what he did, or was the decade plus of living with the secret and worrying about it enough punishment? Did he really stop this behavior or are there more victims out there that will be stepping forward now that he is going to jail.

Posted by J.Johnson
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2006 at 6:01 am

The alleged victim probably agreed with the DA on Giordano's sentence. Whether the victim feels that sentence length is fair or sufficient, we'll probably never know.

But you can make book that trying to prove a molestation case that old would have been very difficult. There was, in fact, another alleged victim. The charges stemming from her allegations were dropped because of technical reasons (they could pin down the month and year of his assaultings of her, but not specific dates).

Be that as it may, there is absolutely no 'mixed feelings here: Giordano is a scumbag. He's pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child, over whom he was an authority figure. That's about as sleazy and disgusting as it gets.

I feel badly for the victim(s) and the people around Giordano he has duped and lied to. But for him, he's going to end up where child molesters should end up. He is going to go to prison.

I hope he is required to allocute as to his acts before sentencing. That way, we can all know what exactly he did and there is no denying later about what he did.

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