DA Declines to File Charges Against Disgraced Santa Clara Councilman Dominic Caserta

Prosecutors say they won’t file criminal charges against former Santa Clara Councilman Dominic Caserta, a high school teacher who ended his campaign for higher office and withdrew from public life after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced the decision Wednesday after a month-long investigation.

“After a thorough review and legal analysis of Dominic Caserta’s behavior toward a number of girls and women in recent years, our office has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to file criminal charges,” Assistant District Attorney Terry Harman said in a statement to reporters. “However, crime or not, it is unacceptable to treat women with anything less than respect and dignity.”

Lydia Jungkind—a 20-year-old German exchange student and one of Caserta’s most vocal accusers—said she has mixed emotions about the news but believes some justice was served by the consequences of her speaking out.

“I stand by what I said,” she told San Jose Inside in a phone call. “And the number of people who came forward speaks for itself.”

After a leaked personnel file obtained by this news outlet in May showed that Caserta was disciplined by Santa Clara Unified School District multiple times since 2002 for sexually harassing students, at least 15 people filed police reports against him. One of the accusers said Caserta pressed his groin against her butt. Another accused him of exposing his genitals to her when she was a minor.

As a result of the public backlash, Caserta is no longer in the classroom at Santa Clara High or any of the colleges where he also taught, no longer running for Santa Clara County supervisor and no longer on the council.

Caserta’s former campaign manager Ian Crueldad, who this past spring became the first to publicly accuse the councilman of impropriety, said the lack of criminal charges doesn’t mean the allegations were untrue.

“Because people decided to step up, that shows that victims and people in the community have decided not to tolerate any inappropriate behavior,” he said.

In a statement to the Mercury News, Caserta denied any wrongdoing, saying he’d like to move on and focus on his family’s well-being.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. What about the DA in San Bernardino where he was a teacher at. Can he look into this m Santa Clara county is an embrassment

  2. I am glad all charges have been dropped. Dominic is a great guy who has been slandered and his reputation ruined. He volunteered as my little brothers basketball coach in middle school. Dom is and always has been very outgoing, totally supportive, and a good friend. He has always been affectionate to his friends and family. This is a witch hunt and has been blown WAY out of proportion. Exposed his genitals??? Grow up. People wear towels out of the shower.
    Fiona W.

    • Fiona W.- Tell that to his victims. I’m sure they’d love to hear you call them liars, as they suffer the consequences of his disgusting actions.

      “Exposed his genitals??? Grow up. People wear towels out of the shower.” Since WHEN do grown men traipse around naked with only a towel on in front of young women, and at work in his home? I think you’d be singing a different song if he acted that way in front of you or YOUR children!

    • tsk tsk tsk… denial runs deep. abusers know how to manipulate human emotions. you think you know a person but you really don’t. if you’ve ever been his student, you’d pick up the vibes that he is who he is – a lying, opportunistic POS who exploits minors and colleagues for his advantage.

      do you think he respects women? LOL, not for the crimes he’s done!

  3. > “After a thorough review and legal analysis of Dominic Caserta’s behavior toward a number of girls and women in recent years, our office has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to file criminal charges,” Assistant District Attorney Terry Harman said . . .

    Ponder this:

    In the Dominic Caserta case, the statements of “a number of girls and women in recent years” equates to “insufficient evidence”.

    In the Brock Turner case, the testimony of ONE drunk/unconscious women constitutes evidence to convict AND reason to suspend due process and excuse obstruction of justice.

    Conclusion: white male nobodies DON’T have “white skin privilege” but white male progressive Democrat politicians have “progressive skin privilege” and an embedded “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE” microchip.

    • Brock Turner’s two witnesses were the 2 passers-by who came upon him in the middle of his criminal assault. Your argument is a mischaracterization. Why the DA couldn’t find enough evidence given so many accusers is hard to fathom assuming we have full info but it doesn’t have anything to do with BT, who is a pathetic specimen himself.

      • > … in the middle of his criminal assault.

        If it was “consensual”, It wasn’t a criminal assault.

        Did the passers-by ask if it was consensual or did they — like you and Michele Dauber — PRE-JUDGE?

        “Pre-judge” is the root of “prejudice”.

        The reason we have rule of law is to escape the prejudices of people like you and Michele “Law Professor by Courtesy of Sociology” Dauber.

        By the way, I have decided to become a “Law Professor by Courtesy of Blogging on San Jose Inside”.

  4. Caserta is a total narcissist: He thought he should help govern our community when he couldn’t even govern his own impulses. He spent much of his day trying to gain the attention of younger women, and he did not care that they were actually repulsed by his overtures.

  5. ‪Will the education bumpkins in SCUSD be charged with state and fed laws regarding failure to report sex harassment? Start with Stan and Andrew – 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Quick to suspend Brown and Black kids but not so quick to hold themselves accountable! Lock them up‬!

  6. At least 15 women have filed police reports, yet the DA doesn’t have the balls to file against Caserta. What message does that send? In SC County it says don’t bother to file, you’ll be ignored.

    • For these incidents to be prosecuted, they must be crimes, and although it doesn’t have to be a slam dunk, there must be sufficient evidence to convict. Further, t sounds from the phrasing that the police reports were not filed until after the article was published here in May. Some of the incidents may be as much as 16 years old. Speaking of 16 years ago, I remember seeing dozens of guys rubbing their groins against girls’ butts. It was called “grinding,” and considered to be dancing. But the apparent indecent exposure was a crime, if the viewer was offended. I wonder why they didn’t prosecute that.

      • Teachers should never rub their groin on a student! Give me a break. I am more concerned with the compromised education bumpkins at SCUSD who covered for this flagrant sexual harasser and probable assaulter. Caserta has deep dirt on these true scumbags who should be fined and go to jail for not maintaining records and taking appropriate actions. SCC is a network of evil that needs to be upended!!!

    • Sadly, Kathleen, victims’ rights always are last on the list in blue/liberal/”progressive” states. Only the accused has rights, even if he is a serial abuser like Caserta. Even if someone is charged, the mostly liberal/”progressive” judges in California exclude evidence from trial that most reasonable jurors would like to have heard. When asked about it after their not guilty verdict, most jurors were shocked to hear of the defendant’s prior similar crimes, and say they would have convicted had they known. Criminal trials are almost always won or lost at the pretrial hearing stage, where relevant evidence is kept from the jury by liberal/”progressive” judges as being too prejudicial. Of course the evidence was prejudicial, because it shows what the accused is really like. Add to that the fact that ADA’s won’t take a case to trial unless it is a slam dunk for a conviction, and we have the case of Mr. Caserta. #MetToo hasn’t hit the sexual abuse of minors yet.

  7. Either he is a serial predator or at least 15 different accusers who, over the last decade and a half, reported his behavior and decided to come forward with a similar story. It’s no wonder victims of sexual crimes are hesitant to come forward. It’s also shameful that the school district, high school and police department get off the hook so easily for “misplacing” his documented harassment reports. At the very least, the school protected him through his career. Thankfully this creep is finished. At least that was some justice.

  8. Federal and state law require that school officials report and act upon claims of sexual harassment. While Caserta is perpetrator of sexual harassment and possible assault based on 15 credible accounts by victims, he is also a teacher who is required by law to report each offense. He was both the witness as well as the perpetrator. Minimally, the DA could and should seek convictions for the failure to report sexual harassment for which there are criminal fines of $1,000 and 6 months of prison time. Of cours, the weasels in SCUSD should also be held accountable to these laws for not having any reportage of sexual harassment or assault for the past 18 years! Watch as the “independent” SCUSD will blame the victims for not having filled out the right forms to report their sexual harassment and then sanctimoniously report that they will fix this little problem in their midst by better informing students about their responsibility to correctly fill out forms!

    And then Sleepy Stan will retire with the stain of this plague forever part of his legacy. Good riddance!

    Who is looking out for the children and especially the 15 victims in this case. Shame on the complicit network of SCC scoundrels!

  9. Let’s make some noise and support the 15 brave female students who stepped forward to challenge the sex perp in their midst. I propose that we build three billboards that attach to the top of 3 separate cars that we drive to SCUSD Board meetings and outside the High Schools on Day 1. I will make a GoFundIt Web site if there is interest.

    Billboard 1: The SCC DA Let Us Down.
    Billboard 2: The predator is still on the loose.
    Billboard 3: What are you going to do, Stan Rose?

    Please respond if you like the idea.

    • Way, way, WAY too obscure.

      If you really want to get some revenge on SCUSD, sneak into the parking lot during a board meeting and plaster Trump bumper stickers on all of the Priuses.

      • Thanks San Jose Outside the Bubble,

        I keep forgetting how low the intelligence actually is for the education bumpkins on the Board and in the administration of SCUSD! It truly boggles the mind!

        Maybe they are too stupid to have recorded and acted upon any sexual harassment or assault incidents for 18 years! And these morons are supposed to be “educating” our kids? Hey it’s somebody else’s kids and somebody else’s money!

        Carry on!

  10. There once was a pedophile teacher from SCUSD named Caserta.

    Who liked to press his groin on students where he ought not a!

    Well the students made a fuss.

    But the DA and the District were nonplussed!

    And now the perv can still diddle the kids when he wants ta!

    • The catholic church hierarchy has stonewalled the sexual abuse of altar boys by priests for centuries. Pope Francis has finally gone public against the practice. Hopefully school districts will follow his lead with respect to teachers’ abuse of students, and DA’s will grow some stones and start prosecuting cases.

  11. I am still a little concerned with the lack of attention being paid to the little problem in SCUSD of sexual predation of students. And the student outcome data demonstrates overall mediocre performance and big subgroup achievement gaps. http://sipbigpicture.com

    Two board members are running unopposed in the District in November and my last hope Vickie Fairchild is being groomed by the current board to be compliant. So I wrote a little limerick for Vickie.

    There once was an SCUSD Board candidate named Vickie.
    Who thought running for the Board was not tricky.
    While the district was a mess.
    Vickie’s tack was to say less.
    Knowing that the community would reward her passivity.

  12. With the recent completion of the kick-off for the Vickie Fairchild campaign for the School Board of the massively dysfunctional SCUSD School District, I still remain amazed at inability of the candidate to express any platform or guiding principles for her campaign. Truly mind-boggling especially with a district in intensive care. Lots of bedside manner with no diagnosis or treatment.

    And of course the big elephant in the SCUSD room is the ongoing sexual predation within the district that is being framed as a communication issue on the part of so called naive students!

    I think that the students are well aware of what is appropriate and what isn’t based upon multiple focus groups that I have conducted with students across the country. They get it. We too often underestimate the sophistication of our students. They know that they will expose themselves to the SCUSD teachers and administrative enablers of the harassers in their midst. And of course they will face real retaliation for stepping forward.

    No the problem sits squarely in the adults laps. (No pun intended). The scumbags at SCUSD did not maintain any records on sexual assault and harassment for 18 years because they were in on the game. They now want to frame this problem as a communication problem. Blame the victims. Just find the right form to fill out and everything will be alright. How about some high tech decoder rings that students can use to communicate sexual harassment and assault? The ugly Me First, Family First, Friends First culture lives on. Notice that Rateman and Canova are running unopposed and Fairchild and Muirhead are mute while being groomed by the enablers for their new positions. It is truly a sick culture in SCUSD way beyond communication problems!

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