Castro Valley High School music teacher now faces 18 felony counts in child sexual abuse case

Castro Valley High School music teacher now faces 18 felony counts in child sexual abuse case

CASTRO VALLEY — Prosecutors this week filed more charges against a former Castro Valley High School music teacher accused of sexually abusing a student.

Keita Hasegawa, 31, now faces 18 felony counts — up from the seven previously filed earlier in September — in connection with the case, according to a revised criminal complaint. The new charges include multiple counts alleging he communicated with the child with intent to commit sex crime.

Hasegawa pleaded not guilty at a hearing Tuesday. He remained out of custody after posting $600,000 bail, according to court documents. As part of the conditions for his release, he was ordered to abide by a restraining order; surrender his electronic devices to his attorney; not use social media; stay away from any minor younger than 18 unless another adult is present; and enroll in electronic monitoring.

The teacher resigned this year while under investigation, according to authorities.

Hasegawa is due back in court Nov. 16 for a pretrial hearing. Hasegawa’s defense attorney, Alanna Coopersmith, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Hasegawa is accused of sexually abusing a Castro Valley High School student when she was 14 and 15 years old, according to court documents. The charged offenses occurred from 2021 to 2023, according to an amended complaint filed by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. In all, the former teacher is charged with four counts of lewd act upon a child; two counts of oral copulation with a person under 16; two counts of sexual penetration by foreign object; and 10 counts of contacting minor with intent to commit sex crime.

Hasegawa taught band at Creekside Middle School before joining the high school in 2021. Hasegawa met the alleged victim when she was an 11-year-old middle school student, according to police, who say the girl told police that he had kissed her when she was just 13. Police allege that the sexual abuse progressed from there after the girl entered high school.

Hasegawa was placed on administrative leave in March 2023 after the high school’s principal reported to police that Hasegawa admitted to being at the girl’s home while she was going through a mental health crisis, ostensibly to provide “moral support,” according to authorities.

The case has riled parents and students at the school. At an April 26 Castro Valley Unified School District meeting, they questioned school administrators’ handling of information brought forward by students allegedly showing inappropriate messages traded between the teacher and the alleged victim on the chat app Discord. The district’s superintendent has argued that school officials handled the case properly and were cooperating with law enforcement.

At the meeting, students also accused Hasegawa of unprofessional behavior, displaying favoritism in the classroom and making demoralizing comments.

“Because children are naturally naive and trusting of adults, Keita Hasegawa was able to get away with these behaviors,” one student said. The student added: “Keep in mind that this guy is 31 and all of who he was (talking) to were minors. Keep in mind that this guy was our teacher that we looked in the face every single day and treated with respect when in the background he consciously had these extremely inappropriate relationships with students.”

Staff writer Nate Gartrell contributed to this report.