A former preschool and Sunday school teacher has been arrested and charged with four counts of child molestation during a two-year period he worked with kids across Contra Costa County.

Anthony D'Tiole, 23, is suspected of abusing more than one victim from 2010 to 2012, said a prosecutor, who noted none of the victims reported thus far were his students. D'Tiole is in custody at Contra Costa Jail in Martinez on $5.6 million bail, booked on four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14. He is due back in court Thursday.

"His bail is high because he's charged with more than one victim, and it can carry a life sentence," said senior deputy district attorney Nancy Georgiou, who heads Contra Costa's sexual assault unit. She added that "none of the allegations occurred at a preschool," but for confidentiality of the victims, she declined to provide further details of the alleged crimes.

Walnut Creek police are looking at "several potential victims," in addition to those already included in the charges, said Lt. Steve Gorski. D'Tiole, who also worked as a baby sitter and nanny, had contact with many children so police are "casting a pretty wide net," he said, and are working particularly closely with Orinda police.


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A call to D'Tiole's public defender Wednesday was not immediately returned.

D'Tiole's résumé on his LinkedIn account shows he worked with young kids throughout central Contra Costa since graduating from Saint Mary's College in 2011.

He was arrested April 18 at a Clayton KinderCare facility, where he had been hired as a preschool teacher only 2½ days earlier, said KinderCare spokeswoman Colleen Moran. He had passed his criminal background check and was still training and had never been alone with students, she said. He has been fired, she added.

D'Tiole also said he worked as a Sunday school teacher with Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, instructing first and second graders since 2011. Morgan Murray, the church's senior pastor, declined to comment on advice of legal counsel.

D'Tiole worked as a part-time nursery attendant from May 2010 to September 2011 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lafayette after passing a criminal-background check, said Pastor Dan Senter, who first learned of the arrest from a reporter.

"We have a policy of maintaining multiple staff persons in our nursery and had no reported incidents during his employment," Senter said in an email. "Thanks for letting us know of the current arrest and charges; we will notify the parents who utilize our nursery of the situation."

On his résumé D'Tiole also indicated he worked for other children's camps in the East Bay and as a nanny in Orinda.

D'Tiole was quoted in a 2010 article for a blog discussing parents' reluctance in hiring male nannies because of fears their children would become victims of sexual abuse.

Then 20, D'Tiole told the reporter, "I start with, 'I know you were planning on hiring a female, but let me tell you the benefits of having a male role model.' Once they see how good I am with kids and the children insist on having me watch them, I get a lot of call-backs."

Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.