More victims come forward in teacher molestation case

Craig Chandler

March 2, 2012 9:14:05 PM PST
More young children have come forward to accuse a San Jose elementary school teacher of molesting them. Friday, the district attorney's office filed new charges against Craig Chandler.

Police and prosecutors always believed there were more victims and Friday's complaint confirms that.

Earlier this year, two young students accused Chandler of molestation. Now parents at O.B. Whaley Elementary School in San Jose are stunned again as police say they found three more victims.

"I don't even know what to say about that; I'm thankful my daughter is not in his class, I just hope he gets what he deserves," parent Melissa Duran said.

The district attorney's office filed the three additional sexual assault charges in court Friday morning. All five counts involve girls between the ages of seven and nine. From the dates, it appears, three were current students and two former students.

Chanlder had taught at Whaley for nine years, most recently to second and three graders.

"These crimes are always horrible, but they are particularly heinous when they occur in an environment of trust where parents expect tha their children will be, at the very least, safe," deputy district attorney Alison Filo said.

The complaint says the five acts took place between September 2010 and January of this year.

Chandler's defense attorney says he will seek to question the children in open court.

"To determine what is the allegations here and what really happened and we believe when that's done, that Mr. Chandler will be able to show he never molested a child, ever," Steven Clark said.

Some parents say they have used the disturbing allegations to talk to their own kids about a difficult subject.

"I told her, 'Nobody can touch you, that if somebody touches you, you tell mommy,'" parent Blanca Rodriguez said.

The details of the alleged crimes have been sealed. Prosecutors say they are confident with their case.

"Kids are amazing, they do a great job, they're incredibly resilient we believe we have legitimate victims in this case," Filo said.

The next court date is March 16, at which time Chandler is scheduled to enter a plea. If convicted of even just two of the five counts, Chandler could face a possible life sentence.

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