Mu­sic teacher charged with mo­lest­ing 2 for­mer fe­male stu­dents

The Mercury News - - Local News - By Tracey Ka­plan tka­plan@ba­yare­anews­group.com Con­tact Tracey Ka­plan at 408-278-3482.

A for­mer Dart­mouth Mid­dle School mu­sic teacher was charged Wed­nes­day with re­peat­edly mo­lest­ing two for­mer fe­male stu­dents over a pe­riod of years, start­ing when they were both 13.

Sa­muel Neipp, 34, of Gilroy is fac­ing 35 felony charges, in­clud­ing 17 counts of lewd and las­civ­i­ous acts with chil­dren un­der 14.

He faces a max­i­mum pun­ish­ment of more than 100 years to life in state prison if he is con­victed, pros­e­cu­tor Michel Amaral said Wed­nes­day out­side court.

Santa Clara County Su­pe­rior Court by Judge Vanessa A. Zecher set bail at $2.375 mil­lion, re­ject­ing the pros­e­cu­tion’s re­quest for no bail.

Neipp’s at­tor­ney, Sam Polverino, ar­gued he was not a flight risk and noted his fam­ily was in court to sup­port him. Neipp did not speak.

“I would em­pha­size th­ese are al­le­ga­tions,” Polverino told the judge. “Noth­ing is proven.”

The al­le­ga­tions sur­faced re­cently af­ter Neipp al­legedly threat­ened to post nude pho­tos on­line of one of his vic­tims, now 16, Amaral said. The girl has ac­cused him of mo­lest­ing her for about three years.

The other vic­tim, now 20, came for­ward af­ter hear­ing he had been ar­rested. She said the abuse went on for two years.

Amaral said po­lice sus­pect there could be other vic­tims and en­cour­aged them to come for­ward.

Neipp worked full time at the mid­dle school from 2010 un­til ear­lier this month. He also worked as a band and mu­sic teacher on a lim­ited ba­sis at two other schools, Bran­ham High and Del Mar High in San Jose.

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