Teacher pleads not guilty to engaging in sex acts with minor


A local teacher charged with engaging in sex acts with a minor pleaded not guilty to all charges during a court appearance on Monday, Nov. 5.

Redwood City resident Dawn Giannini, 49, appeared at a hearing Monday at which her attorney asked a judge to let her defense continue to review the police reports and conduct an investigation, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Judge Donald Ayoob granted the request.

Giannini waived her right to a speedy preliminary hearing, Wagstaffe wrote in an email.

Giannini was arrested on Oct. 18 after a Woodside High School student alerted the school’s principal of several online videos of a female classmate engaged in sexual acts with Giannini, Wagstaffe said.

The county charged Giannini with 24 felony counts, including lewd acts with a child and sexual penetration with a foreign object, on Thursday, Oct. 24.

The videos were shot from 2014 to 2015 in Redwood City and Santa Cruz County when the victim was 14 years old, according to the District Attorney's Office. The victim is related to Giannini.

Giannini taught at schools in Redwood City and Palo Alto. She was substitute teaching when she was arrested, Wagstaffe said. He did not know the name of the school where she most recently worked.

The case has been continued to Nov. 26, when the judge will set a preliminary hearing date, according to Wagstaffe.

Giannini remains in custody on $1.75 million bond.


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