East Bay News

Teacher arrested on suspicion of assaulting student

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Union City teacher has been arrested on allegations that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female student during a nine-month period, police said Friday.

Police received information on Tuesday that 38-year-old Peter Kolesnikov, a teacher at James Logan High School, had been engaged in sexual relations with the student and arrested him in Hayward when he was on his way to have another encounter with the girl, police spokesman Commander Ben Horner said.

Kolesnikov was arrested after officers served search warrants at his residences in San Francisco and Berkeley, Horner said.

He said Kolesnikov was arrested on suspicion that he committed 22 sex offenses, including statutory rape, oral copulation of a minor and communicating with a minor with intent to commit specified crimes.

The student, who is now 17, told police that the relationship began with kissing and then eventually led to sexual encounters in private residences and motels in Alameda County, according to Horner.

The sexual assaults allegedly occurred numerous times between March and November, he said.

Horner said investigators believe there may be additional victims and they recommend that parents speak to their children about Kolesnikov.

He said administrators from the New Haven Unified School District have been working cooperatively with police throughout the investigation to try to ensure the safety of all students in the school district.

School district spokesman Rick La Plante said the district became aware of the alleged relationship Tuesday and immediately informed police.

La Plante said Kolesnikov has been on leave since the start of the school year and has not worked in the district since last June.

Horner said people who have information about the case should call him at (510) 675-5225.

Kolesnikov is being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $1 million bail and tentatively is scheduled to be arraigned at the Fremont Hall of Justice at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Kolesnikov's students gave him mixed reviews on a website called Rate My Teachers.

A student wrote on Aug. 31, 2009, that, "Mr. K is so laid-back that it almost hits the point of laziness. He's extremely brilliant, and maybe teaching is a bit too mundane for his mind."

The student said Kolesnikov "loves to hear himself talk, which is extremely helpful in literature" and added that "he's extremely lenient, and hardly assigns homework."

On July 19, 2010, a student said, "Mr. Kolesnikov is, indeed intelligent, understanding, popular, and fun to be around, but he is lacking in his enthusiasm towards teaching, though he very much makes up for it towards the care and consideration he puts into his students."

The student said, "A loving and sincere individual, Mr. Kolesnikov is generally a wonderful teacher."

On Aug. 18, 2010, another student said, "Mr. K is an awesome guy. He's definitely smart and can be a good teacher."

The student wrote, "When he has a good group of students he'll teach you something interesting but when the students don't want to learn, he'll get irritated and won't want to teach them. He's a cool teacher and hella funny, and you'll love his class but you probably won't learn too much."

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