Former teacher ’s bail was cut in half to $500,000 Thursday as long he surrenders his passport and does not have unsupervised communications with minors.
Kolesnikov, 38, faces 22 counts of sexual assault, including charges of statutory rape, oral copulation of a minor and communicating with a minor with criminal intent, according to court records. He is also being charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Dennis McLaughlin granted the bail reduction against Deputy District Attorney Jimmie Wilson's objections saying that Kolesnikov represents a danger to the community.
“I think that the defendant has access to young girls, and my concern is that if put out on bail, there’s an opportunity he would resume what he’s done in this case,” Wilson said.
According to Wilson, a clerk at a hotel Kolesnikov frequented said that Kolesnikov has been seen with various girls, in addition to the victim, a 16-year-old student of his.
A 19-year-old former student of Kolesnikov’s was also at Kolsenikov’s Berkeley apartment when police served a search warrant at the residence, according to Wilson. The nature of his relationship with the former student, who opened the door, he said, was not disclosed.
Wilson also pointed to the number of students in the courtroom who came to support Kolesnikov.
“That to me is a concern … There may be multiple victims,” Wilson said.
According to co-workers and district staff, Kolesnikov taught English and some art classes at James Logan High School for 12 years until he took leave at the end of the 2010-11 school year. His leave of absence was unrelated to the criminal charges, Union City police said.
He was well-liked among both students and staff, according to , though some online reviews were mixed, with posters calling him "brilliant" but "lacking in enthusiasm" for teaching.
“He was in a position of trust, and in that position he violated it,” Wilson said.
Kolesnikov was . Authorities said he was on his way to meet with the juvenile victim at an undisclosed location in Hayward. Authorities said they had received information that Kolesnikov had engaged in sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl over a nine-month period from March to November of last year.
The victim, now 17, told police the relationship began with kissing and grew into sexual encounters in private homes and motels in Alameda County.
Police also believe there may be additional victims.
“There is some indication based on the preliminary investigation that there may be more than one victim,” said Cmdr. Ben Horner of the Union City Police Department.
“We have received a number of calls from the community coming forward with information, but I don’t know at this point if those have turned into actual victims,” Horner said Thursday.
However, Kolesnikov’s attorney David Billingsley argued that Wilson’s claims that Kolesnikov is a danger to the community are unfounded as no other victims have come forward and no additional charges have been filed.
Billingsley said the bail amount exceeded what's allowed by law and should be reduced because of the nature of the allegations against Kolesnikov.
“There are no allegations of force or threats or violence,” Billingsley said.
Kolesnikov also has no prior criminal history and “has really strong ties to the community,” Billingsley said.
McLaughlin acknowledged Kolesnikov's relationships with students or former students in setting the conditions for his bail.
“Mr. Kolesnikov seems to have some relationships with persons of this high school that go outside of high school,” McLaughlin said. “I think there is some danger if the defendant is able to contact minors without adult supervision.”
He will not be able to have any contact with minors unless in a public space.
In a similar case, on Tuesday a Livermore high school teacher facing charges of having sex with a 14-year-old former student had her bail reduced to $950,000, with prosecutors saying the original $1.85 million amount was "an error."
Kolesnikov is next scheduled to be in court on Monday, Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. in Dept. 605.