MARTINEZ -- Prosecutors on Tuesday filed 20 sex crime charges against a Clayton middle school teacher accused of molesting a former student from February 2010 through August of this year.

Math and science teacher Andrew Cottrell was arrested at Diablo View Middle School on Friday and arraigned in a Martinez courtroom Tuesday afternoon. Cottrell did not enter a plea, telling the judge that he wants to check his finances to see whether he can afford a private attorney.

Judge Nancy Davis Stark issued a no-contact order between Cottrell and the alleged victim.

Police said the 41-year-old Walnut Creek resident confessed to engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse and other sex crimes with the female victim.

He is charged with 19 felony counts and one misdemeanor, including six counts each of lewd acts on a child age 14 or 15, statutory rape of a child younger than 16, and oral copulation of a child younger than 16.

He remains in Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez, with bail set at $1.1 million.

Police acted quickly to investigate and arrest Cottrell after the crimes were recently reported, said prosecutor Nancy Georgiou, head of the District Attorney's Office sex crimes unit.

Georgiou said the crimes occurred at the school in Clayton and in Walnut Creek.

Authorities aren't releasing details in an effort to protect the victim's anonymity.


Advertisement

The Mt. Diablo School District on Monday deployed a "crisis team" to talk to students and staff members upset by Cottrell's arrest. Administrators alerted students in their first-period classes about the support being provided, with counselors available the rest of the week.

Police are looking for other victims, Georgiou said. Anyone with information is asked to contact Walnut Creek or Clayton police.

Cottrell is scheduled to return to court for a plea entry Dec. 29.

Staff writer Theresa Harrington contributed to this report.