The San Jose Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force/Child Exploitation Detail arrested Peter Samonte for child molestation and sexual battery.
Samonte, 24, was the head volleyball coach at Independence High School in San Jose. He was arrested Thursday Oct. 4, police said.
It’s alleged he inappropriately touched three boys beginning in January of 2017 until his arrest.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Independence High School Officials Contacted Police About Samonte
According to authorities, staff at the high school contacted the San Jose Police Department to report that Samonte allegedly sexually assaulted three boys.
Police said its “investigation revealed that between January 2017 and October 2018, Samonte inappropriately touched the male victims.”
The victims, now 15 and 16; two boys are 16 and one is 15. Given its alleged the incidents began in January of 2017, the boys were likely 13 and 14 when the sexual misconduct police allege began.
2. Samonte is Facing a Total of 6 Charges. Three Are Child Molestation Charges & 3 Are Sexual Battery
Samonte was arrested and booked into Santa Clara County Jail on three counts of Annoying or Molesting a Child under 18 years of age and three counts of Sexual Battery, police said.
Police have asked that anyone with information “regarding this incident or any other similar incidents are urged” to contact San Jose Police Det. Christian Mendoza at (408) 537-1379.
Persons providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers, police said.
3. Though His Name Does Not Appear on the School’s Website Any Longer, Samonte Often Promoted the Athletic Program
Samonte, whose Facebook cover photo is of a volleyball set up on a beach, posted a video to YouTube showcasing a school volleyball jamboree. He is listed on school athletic websites as the Independence High School head volleyball coach and, in a post on Facebook, encouraged people to come out and support the school’s athletics programs by buying a mattress.
“Come get a better nights sleep AND support the Independence High School Athletics Program at their 1st annual Mattress Fundraiser. We carry quality name brands like Simmons Beautyrest for up to 50% OFF! The sale is ONE DAY ONLY so we need your help to SPREAD THE WORD by inviting all of your family and friends. Profits go directly to the Athletics Program! Follow us on Twitter @cfssanjoseca and Tweet: #beds4independence”
4. Samonte’s Charges Are Misdemeanors. He Could Face up to 8 Years in Jail & up to $15,000 in Fines if Convicted
In California, the misdemeanor charge of “annoying or molesting a child” does not necessarily include physical contact according to the state statutes. That said, the charge is usually brought with a sexual battery charge in cases of alleged sexual assault, according to reports. Even if Samonte was convicted on all three counts, the maximum time he would face in jail would be three years. He would also be subject to a fine of up to $3,000 on each count if convicted.
Misdemeanor sexual battery carries a six months to one year jail sentence upon conviction and pup to $2,000 in fines, per charge. So for Samonte, if he were to be convicted would face a maximum of three years in jail for the sexual battery charges and up to $6,000 in fines.
If he were convicted he’d be required to register as a sex offender.
5. Samonte Was in 2012 the Vice President of the Associated Student Body & a Liaison to the East Side Union High School District. The Same School District He’d Been Working for When Arrested
According to minutes from a June 2012 East Side Union High School District, of which Independence High School is one of those high schools, Samonte represented students at his school as an official in student government.