Math teacher Evan Smith was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 7 after the district learned he had sent allegedly inappropriate texts to a student.
The police statement indicates that the texts were sexual in nature, as it said the arrest was on one count of sending harmful matter to a minor, and “harmful matter” is defined under California Penal Code 313 as matter which encourages interest in sexual matters.
*Police Public Information Officer Katie Nelson confirmed that police had “tangible evidence to build a case” prior to the arrest.
“I can say that [the texts]were highly inappropriate and no adult should send such things to minors,” Nelson said in a statement sent to Oracle. “Ever.”
The student reported the incident to their counselor Nov. 6, the day before Smith’s arrest, and school officials notified the Mountain View Police Department (MVPD), said District Communications Manager Cynthia Greaves. The text message exchange began in the summer, school officials learned.
One day after his arrest, Smith was released on a bail bond Nov. 8. Smith’s arraignment, during which he will appear before a criminal court judge, is slated for Jan. 8, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. The district attorney has until then to file charges against Smith. Once charges are officially filed, information about them will become public, according to a Santa Clara County Superior Court clerk.
During this time leading up to the arraignment, Smith will be on paid administrative leave, and thus will not be permitted to be on campus, contact students or staff, or access school technology, including student records, according to an update by the superintendent posted on the MVLA website today, Nov. 9. In his update, Superintendent Jeff Harding also encouraged students “to rely on information coming from the Mountain View Police and the MVLA District, rather than the rumor mill,” and reiterated his concern for student safety.
Unless the case is dropped, Smith will be called before a judge at the arraignment. The judge will read the charges against him, and Smith will plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The date of future courtroom proceedings will be announced then as well.
MVPD indicated in their statement that they are concerned there were additional victims in the case. Students with relevant information can contact Detective Frank Rivas at 650-903-6388 or Sergeant Dan Vicencio at 650-903-6386.
*Information from Public Information Officer Katie Nelson was added to this article at 5:47 p.m. on Nov. 9.