Ohlone teacher expected to enter plea Monday

Emily Hwang, Author

An Ohlone Elementary School teacher on unpaid compulsory leave is expected to enter a plea 9 a.m. Monday, April 18 at the Palo Alto Courthouse after postponing his arraignment in a case involving charges of child sexual abuse.

In a court presided over by Judge Kenneth P. Barnum on Feb. 16, defendant Michael Christopher Airo waived his right to a speedy trial and delayed his arraignment by 30 days. He verbally agreed to a no contact order which mandates that he cannot come within 300 yards of the alleged victim.

On March 21 before Judge Rene Navarro, Airo appeared briefly at the stand to waive time for another 30 days and to set the date for his next appearance.

The arraignment will include a reading of charges against Airo. Subsequently, Airo is anticipated to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or as otherwise permitted by the law, as per the common procedure of an arraignment. In a typical criminal proceeding, a preliminary hearing follows arraignment and determines if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Airo is charged with one count of continual sexual abuse of a child and three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, according to a Jan. 15 press release from the Palo Alto Police Department and a full police report by Officer Joel Hornung.