Amidst allegations of sexual harassment, former Santa Clara councilman Dominic Caserta is on paid leave from his post as part-time faculty at Foothill and De Anza colleges, pending further investigation.
After a Santa Clara Unified School District warning notice was made public, students from his political science class at Foothill filed reports with Santa Clara Police Department concerning sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior towards several female volunteers for Caserta’s campaign for Santa Clara County Supervisor.
One of Caserta’s students, Lydia Jungkind, filed a reports stating she was locked inside her instructor’s car as he touched her inappropriately outside of his Santa Clara home. The German international student volunteered for Caserta’s campaign as an unofficial requirement to pass his class.
A total of nine reports have been made with SCPD accusing Caserta of sexual misconduct involving volunteers in his campaign, including witness statements from other students and his former campaign manager, Ian Crueldad.
“I’ve seen him touch volunteers on the side, or where their stomachs are, give volunteers massages, touching them on the shoulders, kisses on the cheek; I’ve seen him do a lot of things like that,” Crueldad told Foothill’s newspaper, The Script.
Caserta stepped down as Santa Clara councilman on May 14 and announced the decision to suspend his campaign indefinitely.
President of Foothill College Thuy Thi Nguyen released a statement saying the college has “already taken immediate and appropriate steps to respond to the allegations.”
The investigation is confidential, following state policies and procedures.
Nguyen encouraged other students to come forward with complaints and file them directly to the police or campus services.
Currently, Dominic Caserta is on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, according to Santa Clara Unified School District.