SAN MATEO, Calif. (KTVU) - There are disturbing new details involving a San Mateo preschool teacher who was arrested back in April for taking lewd photos of his young students. For the first time, a parent of one of the victims is speaking out about the alleged crimes that happened at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School where the teacher was employed.
The mother said it's been a traumatic experience. Her daughter has stomach aches every time she hears the teacher's name. She wanted to come forward saying the school failed to protect her child.
The mother asked KTVU to conceal her identity. She found it odd when her eight-year-old asked her to buy her tights not realizing she said it was because her teacher Anthony Satriano wanted her wear them.
“She was very upset about something. One night, she had told me what had happened and that it made her feel weird and she didn't know what to do,” said the mother.
Prosecutors allege Satriano did this to five students as young as five years old holding private photos sessions at school, posing girls in a provocative way and snapping photos on his cell phone.
According to the parent, authorities seized thousands of pictures of students, some from a hidden camera, part of a bondage fetish.
“It’s very painful. It's disturbing on many levels,” said the mother. “The parents of the school have no idea the gravity of what has happened.”
The parent said the 33-year-old teacher had unfettered access to the children and the school failed to develop and implement policies regarding staff supervision and security. She said parents complained and the complaints fell on deaf ears.
“You can see where this access and availability to play out his sick little sexual fantasies was very easy for him,” said the mother.
“Unfortunately child sex abuse at schools is not uncommon,” said Attorney Joseph George.
George represents two of the children in the criminal complaint and said school administrators trivialized Satriano's criminal behavior.
“For that to be the case at a prestigious private school that charges $30,000 tuition for the students is mindboggling,” said George.
The head of school would not address KTVU’s specific questions but sent a statement that said in part, “St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School remains absolutely committed to providing a safe, caring community. We realize this is a very difficult time for the families affected by Anthony Satriano's actions, and we are very sorry for the pain this has caused them.”
The school would not comment further due to privacy concerns and to not jeopardize prosecution.
The parent said her daughter will not be returning to Saint Matthew's.
As for Satriano, he has pleaded not guilty. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. He's currently in jail on a $2 million bail. The lawyer said once the criminal process is over, they're planning to pursue a civil lawsuit against the school and diocese.