A former teacher was arrested Thursday on suspicion of having sex with a student, police said.
Peter 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 Cmdr. Ben Horner of the .
Authorities said Kolesnikov was arrested without incident by Union City police while on his way to meet with the juvenile victim at an undisclosed location in Hayward.
Police received information on Tuesday morning alleging that Kolesnikov, an English teacher who also taught art classes, had engaged in sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl over a nine-month period, starting last year in March and ending in November. Investigators then served search warrants at Kolesnikov’s residences in San Francisco and Berkeley.
According to the , Kolesnikov has been on leave since the beginning of the school year and has not worked for the district since last June. The leave of absence is unrelated to the case, police said.
The victim, now 17, told police the relationship began with kissing and grew into sexual encounters in private homes and motels in Alameda County.
Kolesnikov is being held at Santa Rita Jail on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Fremont Hall of Justice.
Authorities in Union City have worked with the New Haven Unified School District to ensure the safety of all students in the district, Horner said.
Police believe that there may be additional victims and are urging parents to speak to their children about the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Union City Police Department’s Press Information Officer Ben Horner at 510-675-5225. Anonymous tips may also be made by calling 510-675-5207 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kolsenikov is the third Bay Area teacher arrested in a sex scandal this week.
On Wednesday in Livermore, . On Tuesday in San Jose, 35-year-old Whaley Elementary School teacher Craig Chandler was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a student.
With word of Kolesnikov's arrest spreading rapidly Friday, former students have taken to social media to voice their support for the former Logan teacher, whom many refer to as "Mr. K."
"That was my teacher! No way he would do that. Best teacher I had," one former student wrote on Twitter.
Another student, however, wrote that Kolesnikov "was always talkin bout sex" in art class. "He was the coolest teacher ever though!," the student added.
According to a Wikipedia article about sexual abuse in the American education system, harrassment is "common and six in 10 students will suffer some form of physical sexual abuse." Based on a 2002 American Association of University Women study, of those who are abused, 38 percent were abused by teachers.
A child trauma institute estimates that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused during childhood.
Effects of the abuse include:
"Students experience a wide range of effects from sexual harassment that impact their academics including: have trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, decreased participation in class, avoid a study group, think about changing schools, change schools, avoid the library, change major, not going to a professor/ teaching assistant’s office hours. Students may experience multiple effects or just one..."
If you need help or know someone who may be the victim of sexual abuse, contact the Alameda County Family Justice Center, which lists a number of East Bay resources on this webpage or click the PDF attached to this article. You can also get information from the Alameda County Child Abuse Prevention Council or call their hotline at 510-259-1800.