More Details on Police Arrest of Middle School Teacher

Published on June 16, 2022

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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 16, 2022

Yesterday, the Palo Alto Police Department arrested a Greene Middle School (formerly Jordan Middle School) physical education teacher on an arrest warrant charging him with sexually assaulting a sixth-grade female student 20 years ago. To learn more details about the crime and arrest, read the Police Department’s news release distributed yesterday afternoon.

Today, the Police Department learned that the suspect had been a previous employee of the City of Palo Alto. The suspect worked in the Community Services Department as a part-time coach with the City's middle school athletic program, where he was assigned exclusively to Greene (formerly Jordan) Middle School and coached 8th grade Greene students on the boys basketball team between 2015 and 2019.

The Police Department is not aware of any additional victims at this time, other than the single victim in the case for which the suspect was arrested yesterday. The City of Palo Alto and police detectives encourage anyone who may have been victimized to contact the Palo Alto Police Department by calling (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

Contact: A/Captain James Reifschneider                                                             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Inquiries: cityofpaloalto.org/PAPDmedia                                                     June 15, 2022

Police Arrest Middle School Teacher for Sexual Assault of Student

PALO ALTO, CA–Police arrested a physical education teacher this afternoon on an arrest warrant charging him with sexually assaulting a sixth-grade female student 20 years ago.

In late January 2022, administrators from the Palo Alto Unified School District contacted the Police Department after receiving an e-mail reporting that a current physical education teacher at Greene Middle School had sexually assaulted an 11-year-old female student in 2001. Detectives launched an investigation, working in collaboration with district officials. District administrators immediately placed the teacher on administrative leave.

The investigation revealed that the victim, now in her thirties, had been sexually assaulted by her physical education teacher in the locker room at the former Jordan Middle School (currently known as Greene Middle School) at 750 North California Avenue while she was in sixth grade (the 2001-2002 school year). The assault occurred during the lunch hour.

Detectives presented the completed investigation to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, who filed one felony charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child against the suspect on June 13. A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge signed a warrant for his arrest on June 14.

On the afternoon of June 15, the suspect self-surrendered at the Palo Alto Police Department without incident. Police booked the suspect, 55-year-old Peter Michael Colombo of Redwood City, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail pursuant to the arrest warrant. His booking photo appears above.

Police are not aware of any additional victims at this time. Detectives encourage anyone who may have been victimized to contact the Palo Alto Police Department. Anyone with information about this incident or this suspect is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.


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Sent By:

Meghan Horrigan-Taylor

Chief Communications Officer

City Manager's Office

Office Phone: (650) 329-2607

Email: Meghan.Horrigan-Taylor@CityofPaloAlto.org