Alum Rock Union School District music teacher facing sexual abuse charges; 10+ possible victims
A music teacher at Adelante Dual Language Academy, Alum Rock Union School District, is facing multiple sexual abuse charges following his arrest. Israel Santiago, a music teacher, is accused of inappropriately touching at least ten students in the band room. Adelante Dual Language Academy is a transitional kindergarten through 8th grade school in East San Jose.
San Jose police said a similar allegation was made against Santiago in 2014 at another Alum Rock School District school, but no charges were ever filed. Santiago was then moved to Adelante Academy.
This case has many similarities to a case that just resulted in a $102 million jury verdict against the Union School District. In both of these cases, it appears the music instructors were isolated from the rest of the school and lacked proper supervision. And in both cases, it appears that there were several “red flag” warnings that could have stopped the abuse of students.
San Jose Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children and Child Exploitation detectives began investigating Santiago when reports of him inappropriately touching students surfaced. Santiago was arrested on November 21, 2022 and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. According to Superintendent Dr. Hilaria Bauer, Israel Santiago has not been in contact with students or on school property since November 1st.
According to a press release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office, investigators found that starting last school year the suspect would take the children in his office, which was in a relatively secluded spot. He is accused of often holding the girls on his lap and hugging them tightly to his body along with cupping female student’s buttocks and in one case he stroked the bare skin of a fourth grader’s back, underneath her bra strap. According to the police report, one of the reported victims contacted a friend via text message and described her physical contact with Santiago: “Sometimes I feel my shirt lifting up … I just don’t want to be around him.”
NBC Bay Area reports, "As soon as these schools, administrators, whoever become aware of these incidents, please report it to law enforcement," San Jose police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. "Please call us. It doesn’t mean that you're going to have patrol cars showing up at your school. Our unit has plainclothes detectives. We want to talk to these kids as quickly as we can."
Due to the number of student victims, police detectives believe there could be more unaccounted victims. Persons with information regarding this incident or any other similar incidents are urged to contact the sexual abuse legal team at the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard at 408-289-1417.