A James Logan High School teacher charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student last year may stand trial for the allegations, according to a prosecutor.
Preliminary hearings were held Tuesday and Wednesday in which 39-year-old Peter Kolesnikov was held to answer to a multitude of sexual assault charges.
After the hearings, an Alameda County Superior Court Judge Dennis McLaughlin determined that there was enough evidence to move forward with the case, Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kim told Patch.
Kolesnikov faces 20 felony charges including nine charges of statutory rape, eight counts of oral copulation, one count of penetration with a foreign object, one count of possessing child pornography and one count of possessing marijuana for sales, according to Kim.
He is scheduled to be re-arraigned on Feb. 14. He will have to enter a new plea for the charges before the court can proceed with scheduling a trial date, Kim said.
Kolesnikov, who is , was while en route to meet with the victim at an undisclosed location in Hayward. He was initially charged with 22 felony counts of sexual assault but some of the charges were dropped, according to Kim. He pleaded not guilty to those charges last March.
The district attorney’s office alleges that Kolesnikov engaged in a nine-month sexual relationship with a student from March to November of 2011.
According to prosecutors, the victim, who is now 18, told police that their relationship began with kissing and grew into sexual encounters in private homes and motels in Alameda County.
Authorities believe that there may have been additional victims.
A clerk at a hotel Kolesnikov frequented said that Kolesnikov was seen with various girls in addition to the victim. However, no additional victims have come forward, Kim said.
According to co-workers and New Haven Unified School 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. The district would not comment on the nature of his leave but said it was unrelated to criminal charges.
The teacher was well-liked among both students and staff, said co-workers and several former students who attended Kolesnikov’s previous court appearances.
Many of Kolesnikov's students came to his defense following the initial news of his arrest.
“He’s one of the best teachers I ever had,” said former student Jose Garcia after a court appearance last year. “He was funny. He was helpful. He was just different.”
Kolesnikov is scheduled to return to court on Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Hayward Hall of Justice, according to the district attorney’s office.
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