Bay Area teacher pleads guilty to sexual assault charges

Bay Area

DANVILLE, Calif. (KRON) — “I have no idea how many students he’s had access to and what his interactions with those students have been like.”

A Bay Area teacher is behind bars after pleading guilty to sexual assault charges this week.

His victim is one of his former students who was brave enough to come forward and speak with KRON4’s Michelle Kingston on Friday.

Ray Engeszer was in his late 40s when he began sending messages online to one of his biology students at the Athenian School — a private school in Danville.

“He sort of set it up from the beginning as like oh I’m breaking the rules by talking to you.”

That student — who didn’t want to show her face — was just 16 years old at the time.

“But as things kind of progressed, I sort of turned more and more inward and felt more ashamed.”

She describes having what she calls an “icky” feeling during their time together, and she ended the relationship a few months into her college career.

“I felt like I was in control and I felt like I could turn back any time I wanted to until I realized I couldn’t.”

She reported him to police who immediately began an investigation, which eventually led to his pleading guilty in court this week.

His victim says even though he got 45 days of jail time and is now a registered sex offender, that wasn’t the reason why she came forward.

“I still don’t know everything he may or may not have done but that was generally my aim in doing this, was just so I wouldn’t have to worry about I wouldn’t have to worry about someone getting hurt and I could’ve said something and I didn’t.”

The head of the Athenian School released a statement that said, in part:

“These crimes against children are devastating and leave me, as a school leader, both deeply sad and angry. Mr. Engeszer will now go to jail (although not for long enough in my estimation), become a registered sex offender, and be precluded forever from the teaching profession. all of that is appropriate consequence, yet it can’t erase the pain he has caused for this young woman. athenian fully supports her for coming forward and her desire to protect other minors from similar harm. I am so sorry that this happened to her.”

While we don’t know if Engeszer has hurt other students, we do know from Athenian school officials that he resigned here several years ago after being confronted about sending a different student inappropriate messages online, as well.

He moved on to work at several other Bay Area schools before his arrest last year.

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