DA Won’t Press Criminal Charges Against Caserta, But SCUSD Investigation Continues

By Robert Haugh

Disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta won’t face criminal charges. Yesterday, the District Attorney’s office said they didn’t have enough evidence to try him for sexual abuse or assault, even though 15 criminal complaints have been filed against Caserta.

Dominic Caserta
Dominic Caserta

Assistant District Attorney Terry Harman weakly slapped Caserta on the wrist with a statement:

After a thorough review and legal analysis of Dominic Caserta’s behavior toward a number of girls and women in recent years, our office has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to file criminal charges. However, crime or not, it is unacceptable to treat women with anything less than respect and dignity.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor reacted quickly — and more strongly — on Twitter:

Just heard no criminal charges filed against Dominic Caserta……It may not be provable as a crime but it’s still deplorable to our community.  I want to tell the young people that were courageous enough to speak out that They Did the Right Thing!!

The DA’s decision really made the Caserta legal team happy. Here’s what the Mercury News reported:

Mr. Caserta has always maintained his innocence from these accusations,” the statement reads. “He would like to thank the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office for their investigation and decision on this matter. Dominic now wants to move on with the focus being on the well-being of his family.

Jennifer Wadsworth of SanJoseInside.com spoke to Lydia Jungkind, a 19-year-old Caserta campaign staffer who made the first public complaint against him. “I stand by what I said. And the number of people who came forward speaks for itself.”

Wadsworth also spoke with former Caserta campaign manager Ian Crueldad who said: “Because people decided to step up, that shows that victims and people in the community have decided not to tolerate any inappropriate behavior.”

SCUSD

The Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) is still investigating Caserta for allegations students have made over the years. He’s currently on paid leave as a teacher.

On Tuesday, we asked Assistant Superintendent Andrew Lucia about a rumor that SCUSD has agreed to a financial settlement with Caserta. Yesterday, Lucia said that’s not true.

Lucia also said that Caserta is being represented by two attorneys: John Mlnarik and Christopher Schumb. As we’ve reported, Mlnarik is the Santa Clara Rotary Club President and has been paid $40,000 by Caserta’s campaign.  Schumb is a San Jose attorney who frequently represents teachers and school board members accused of misdeeds.

Civil Case?

There’s also talk in the community about a civil case being filed against Caserta. Some legal experts say there’s a good chance of winning a case in civil court because the standard for conviction is lower. In criminal court, it’s “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In civil court, it’s “preponderance of evidence.”

But everyone who watched The People v. O.J. Simpson  already knew that.

Looks like the Caserta story is going to have some more chapters. Stay tuned.

 

9 comments

  1. Dear Ike and anyone else who has information —

    James Rowen was attacking Ian Crueldad on Caserta’s behalf using the phony name “Burt Oliver” on local websites.

    Evidence is being gathered through this website:

    https://jamesrowenwatch.com/

  2. Caserta is guilty and everyone knows it. Two decades of complaints and The punk is still denying all charges and trying to play victim.

    **WHY IS HE ON A PAID LEAVE WITH TAX PAYERS MONEY?
    **WHY ARE SCHS AND SCUSD NOT BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND BULLY COMPLAINTS ON CASERTA UNDER THE ( IX TITLE )
    LAW??
    **WHY IS IT OK FOR THE SCPD TO CONVENIENTLY LOSE OtR HAVE NO RECORDS OF ANY COMPLAINTS?
    **SO IT TURNS OUT THAT ALL THE PEOPLE
    THAT SHOULD BE PROTECTING OUR KIDS FROM EVIL SC SCHOOLS, POLICE AND THE DA ARE THE EVIL AND CAN BE BOUGHT AND PAID TO PUT OUR KIDS AT HARMS WAY
    **PARENTS SHOULD THINK TWICE ABOUT SENDING THEIR KIDS TO A SCUSD SCHOOL, IT’S NOT SAFE.

  3. Good for Lisa Gillmor for being a stand up mayor. I’m glad somebody applauded the young people who had the guts to stand up to Caserta. Ian Crueldad deserves special credit. He stood up first and got threatened and slammed by Caserta and his henchman James Rowen. Crueldad is a hero. Those guys are scum.

  4. TWO lawyers. Let me get this straight. The union is paying for his lawyer. Figures. They defend bad apples.

    But he’s also paying another lawyer $40 grand.

    Figures that he’s a Democrat. That’s why he doesn’t know how to manage his money or keep his pants on.

    • Yep, Caserta is paying another lawyer $40K! How? Leftover campaign funds. Check out his campaign reports. Who gave him all the money? Developers, supporters, et al. Isn’t he supposed to create a separate legal fund? If I was a donor, I’d be wanting my money back. He has a slushfund to pay for his sins. Shameful.

  5. A lotta folks don’t know that Caserta owns a home in Almaden Valley/Blossom Hill area too. So the parents and kids at Santa Teresa High and Leonard Herman Intermediate need to be warned too.

  6. A civil suit makes a lot of sense. The victims deserve their day in court. Caserta should have to look his accusers in the eye. He resigned from the council so he wouldn’t have to do that.

  7. TV News last night said Dominic Caserta is living in Hollister. Someone needs to warn these parents and school children:

    San Benito High School
    Hollister Prep
    Calaveras Elementary

  8. Terrible, terrible decision from the DA. Christopher Schumb does a lot of work for the teachers union. They’re bringing him in because he’s the big gun. Mlnarick is incapable and incompetent.

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