A former teacher charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student was released on bail Wednesday afternoon, according to the district attorney’s office.
After a series of bail hearings, relatives of Peter Kolesnikov, 38, posted a $500,000 bond for his release Wednesday.
He made a brief court appearance while out of custody Thursday morning and is scheduled to return on Feb. 23 to enter a plea.
and 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 also faces one charge of possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
His relatives attempted to post a full property bond on Tuesday. However, two of the three property bonds were rejected due to lien issues. Relatives returned the following day to post Kolesnikov’s bail using a $150,000 property bond combined with a traditional bail bond for the difference, said Deputy District Attorney Mark Melton.
Kolesnikov was originally held on a $1 million bail but was granted a reduction to $500,000 last Thursday on conditions that he surrender his passport and not have unsupervised communications with minors.
The motion was granted despite Deputy District Attorney Jimmie Wilson’s assertion that Kolesnikov is “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 last Thursday.
Kolesnikov was after authorities received information that he had engaged in sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl over a nine-month period from March to November of last year. He was on his way to meet with the juvenile victim at an undisclosed location in Hayward during the time of his arrest, 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.
Authorities believe there may be additional victims.
A clerk at a hotel Kolesnikov frequented said that Kolesnikov has been seen with various girls, in addition to the victim, according to Wilson.
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. The district would not comment on the nature of his leave but police said it was unrelated to criminal charges.
He was well-liked among both students and staff, said co-workers and several former students who attended Kolesnikov’s previous court appearances, though some online reviews were mixed, with posters calling him "brilliant" but "lacking in enthusiasm" for teaching.
Kolesnikov is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 23 at 9 a.m. in Dept. 605 at the Fremont Hall of Justice.
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Note: This article was updated 11:51 p.m. on Jan. 26. We incorrectly noted that Kolesnikov was "placed on" leave when, in fact, Kolesnikov took leave on his own.