East Palo Alto: Teacher charged with performing sexual acts on teen students By Robert Salonga Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 - 4:34 p.m. Danielle Matko, 33, of Belmont, has been charged with performing sexual acts on two 15-year-old male students at the East Palo Alto charter school where she is a teacher. (San Mateo Co. Sheriff's Office) EAST PALO ALTO -- A female teacher at an East Palo Alto charter school is facing several charges that she performed sexual acts on two teenage male students over a two-and-a-half-month span last fall, authorities said. Danielle Matko, 33, of Belmont, was arraigned Tuesday with four counts of lewd and lascivious acts covering three encounters with the boys, who are both 15 years old, in her classroom at East Palo Alto Aspire Phoenix Academy on Garden Street, said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Prosecutors contend that between Sept. 1 and Nov. 14, Matko engaged in sexual conduct on two occasions with one of the victims, and on one occasion with both victims. The allegations cover sexual contact between the defendant and the teens, and in one instance she is suspected of performing oral sex on the first victim. Aspire officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. All of the purported crimes are believed to have taken place in Matko's classroom, during free periods and after school, authorities said. Advertisement Wagstaffe said the allegations surfaced after the boys told friends about them, and one of the friends contacted a legal-aid attorney, who in turn notified police. Matko, who denies the allegations, was arrested Dec. 1 and was soon freed after posting bail. At her arraignment Tuesday, during which she pleaded not guilty, Judge Mark Forcum increased Matko's bail from $150,000 to $250,000 after prosecutors alleged she attended a soccer game in which one of the boys participated. He also issued a protective order barring her from contacting the teens. Matko is out of custody after posting the new bail. She also faces two additional charges because she allegedly committed the crimes while serving as a caretaker for the victims. Neither Matko nor her attorney could be immediately reached for comment. Wagstaffe said authorities have not identified any other victims. "As it sometimes happens, people may come forward; we don't know yet," he said. "If there are more, we are certainly interested in speaking to them." He added that the county "rarely" comes across cases of teacher-student sexual conduct involving a female teacher and male students. Matko is next scheduled to appear in court March 23 for a preliminary hearing, during which the boys may testify, Wagstaffe said.