GLAAD Community News
2017-03-08 04:38:03 UTC
rooms and dorms, even inside his Richmond classroom while class
was in session, a prosecutor told a jury Monday during opening
statements in the former charter school teachers molestation
For more than a decade, Guinto would target almost exclusively
11- to 12-year-old boys, often from Spanish-speaking families,
who looked up to him as their instructor, online friend, church
volunteer and Boy Scout leader, prosecutor Alison Chandler
explained during opening statements in the molestation case that
allegedly stretched from the East to South Bay to Yosemite and
campsites across Northern California.
Guinto, 34, has pleaded not guilty to 90 molestation counts
involving 15 boys, including anal sex and oral copulation,
dating back to the early 2000s when he was a San Jose State
University college student.
On Monday, Guinto, wearing a dark gray suit, sat silently taking
notes. His family members sat behind him in court, his mother
reading Bible prayers to herself. They declined to comment
Guintos attorney Ernie Castillo told jurors his client was
living a gay teachers nightmare, saying that locker room-
type behavior among guys was being misconstrued as sexual
abuse. Castillo said one boys complaint about how Guinto
addressed him on Facebook launched a witch hunt that led to
false rumors, gossip.
Castillo shared for the first time publicly that Guinto had a
handwritten addendum added to his contract with Making Waves
allowing him to communicate with students on sensitive topics
involving Camp Epic, an extracurricular leadership group he
His career was turned upside down by administrators at Making
Waves, Castillo said. Being a gay teacher was not easy.
The bulk of the alleged abuse occurred between 2010 and 2013,
while Guinto worked for Making Waves Academy, a Richmond charter
Eleven of his alleged victims were Making Waves students who
attended Camp Epic, a Boy Scouts troop hybrid, which professed
to teach children leadership skills and promised college
scholarships to children who worked their way up the ranks,
Camp Epic was a front. A front so the defendant could gain
access to young children to molest them, Chandler told the
jury. They would hike into the middle of nowhere with no
phones, no iPads, nowhere to phone a friend for help.
Guinto would choose which students would stay in his tent and
encouraged everyone to share sleeping bags for warmth. Those who
turned down his requests were left to sleep in the cold,
What happens at Camp Epic, stays at Camp Epic, Chandler said
Guinto would tell the children. And it did, up until 2013 when
one boy told his mother about the abuse and Guinto was exposed.
Chandler told the jury that Guinto was 20 when he allegedly
molested his first 12-year-old victim in his San Jose State dorm
room. Two of his South Bay victims were under his watch as their
Boy Scouts volunteer, Chandler said. The organization eventually
Guinto portrayed himself as an ROTC mentor to the parents of one
of his first victims, even creating a permission slip, Chandler
told the jury. That seedling grew to Camp Epic 10 years later,
Now 27 years old, that victim was watching American Idol on TV
with his family when a news teaser during a commercial break
showed Guintos face following his 2013 arrest.
It rippled through his entire body and he told police, she
Castillo countered that Camp Epic was a legitimate leadership
program for kids hatched as part of Guintos masters thesis
while attending Touro University in Vallejo.
Not only were kids enjoying going to Camp Epic, they would
return over and over and over again, Castillo said.
The defense attorney showed jurors a copy of Guintos Making
Waves employment contract with a handwritten addendum below his
signature with an asterisk.
Will have communications with students outside (Making Waves
Academy) through Camp Epic, outdoor youth leadership program,
which may involve conversations with sensitive topics, the
contract wording states.
Castillo said that gave permission for Guinto to communicate
over social media with students, despite school rules forbidding
That single (parent Facebook) complaint had nothing to do with
sexual allegations, and led Making Waves to assume false
assumptions and led them on a wild goose chase, Castillo said.
He indicated that Guinto, who is in custody, will take the
witness stand during the trial, which is expected to last months.