News

Menlo preschool director changes plea to no contest

Must register as sex offender, but avoids trial

In a surprise move, the 55-year-old former director of Menlo Park's Belle Haven childcare center charged with harassing the teenage daughter of a co-worker changed his plea to no contest on the day his trial was set to begin.

Jose Adalberto Lopez, of San Mateo, will serve no more than 90 days in county jail for the misdemeanor, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's office. He will be sentenced on Dec. 10.

"The court will consider less after reviewing the pre-sentence report," Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. "The defendant will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life."

Mr. Lopez met the 13-year-old girl when she came to the preschool to do homework, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

As time passed the man gave her gifts -- earrings, a silver bracelet, and women's underwear. The district attorney's office said that when she stopped speaking to him, he sent letters asking why she was ignoring him.

Those letters proved to be his undoing. A secretary found one earlier this year and turned it over to the victim's mother, who called police.

He had worked at the Belle Haven childcare center since 2001.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 53 comments | 14,825 views

What is your climate personality?
By Sherry Listgarten | 30 comments | 1,751 views

Eat Your Values – August 15
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 1,197 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 2 comments | 1,013 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 624 views

 

Early Bird rates end Sunday!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families. Early Bird prices end Sun, Aug 18.

Register now