A 33-year-old English teacher at an East Palo Alto high school has pled not guilty to charges of committing lewd acts on minors, saying that the students who claim they were intimate with her are making the whole thing up.
Belmont resident Danielle Matko was released on $150,000 bail Tuesday, after denying allegations that she had relations with at least two of her 15-year-old students.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, between September and November of last year, Matko "allegedly showed her bare breasts to a 15-year-old student in her classroom and let him touch them while also touching him inappropriately...and allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct with the teen after school hours on two other occasions," BCN reports.
In November, prosecutors say, she also let that same teen and another 15-year-old student "touch her bare breasts in her classroom."
Unsurprisingly, the 15-year-old boys told their friends about the alleged incidents, and the news eventually made its way to the police.
For her part, Matko says that nothing happened and the kids are making it up — and even District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe admits to BCN that "there is no video or independent witnesses to confirm the incidents, so the case 'effectively relies on both boys.'"
Phoenix Academy remains on winter break until next week, and did not provide comment regarding the case (it's worth noting, however, that Matko's name appears to have been removed from their site). Matko, who in now under a protective order prohibiting her from contacting either student, will return to court on on March 23.