Palo Alto Music Teacher Arrested for Suspicion of Sexual Abuse

September 20, 2017

A San Francisco music teacher working at a Palo Alto music school was arrested this summer on suspicion of committing sex crimes against a 15-year-old student, according to a statement from the Palo Alto Police Department.

Police say that 35-year-old John Patrick Root taught music part-time at the School of Rock on Middlefield Road, which is where he came in contact with the alleged victim. Palo Alto police say they were notified by another law enforcement agency on July 13 about allegations that an Palo Alto music teacher conducting an after-school program was sexually abusing a minor student. The subsequent investigation by the Palo Alto Police Department allegedly uncovered that the suspect was Root and that the 15-year-old victim was his music student over the past several months.

“The sexual abuse occurred when, on several occasions during that time, the suspect and the victim met at other locations in Palo Alto,” police said in a news release.

Root’s arrest warrant was issued July 19th. On July 20, detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department found him located in San Francisco. He was arrested without incident with the help of officers from the San Francisco Police Department, police said.

Root was transferred back to Santa Clara County and was booked into jail on suspicion of four felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor.

Officials with the School of Rock Music school said they notified parents about the investigation and that Root was terminated from his position. Palo Alto detectives said they are working with the school to see if there are any additional victims.

“Our highest priority is the safety of our students and we immediately engaged with the Police Department to assist in their investigation,” said Elliot Baldini, senior vice president of marketing for School of Rock Music. “Our employee safety procedures require all staff and faculty to complete background checks and complete a code of conduct. In this particular case, we completed a background check and the former teacher executed a code of conduct.”

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If your child has been seriously injured or has been the victim of any kind of sexual abuse, such as inappropriate contact by a teacher or person in a position of authority, contact a law firm with a reputation for fierce client advocacy and an unwavering commitment to results. The dedicated lawyers at The Cifarelli Law Firm, LLP, have been fighting for the rights of children in California and across the United States for more than 25 years. We seek maximum compensation for our clients and work to ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable for the harm they cause.

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