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Teacher Accused Of Sex Abuse At San Jose School

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Colette Phelps of Los Gatos is accused of abusing a student at Stratford School, where she was a teacher. (SJPD)

Colette Phelps of Los Gatos is accused of abusing a student at Stratford School, where she was a teacher. (SJPD)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A teacher in San Jose accused of sexually abusing a child was arraigned Wednesday but did not enter a plea, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said.

Colette Phelps, who has taught at the private Stratford School in San Jose for the past five years, is charged with two counts of committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child aged 14 or 15. The acts are alleged to have occurred with a teenage boy between April 10 and June 1 of this year, district attorney’s spokeswoman Amy Cornell said.

Phelps, 28, of Los Gatos, appeared in Santa Clara County Superior Court at 9:30 a.m. but did not enter a plea, according to Cornell. Phelps was ordered to return to court to enter a plea on July 8 at 9:30 a.m. in Department 23.

Stratford Schools founder Sherry Adams said in a statement that the school put Phelps on indefinite leave as soon as it learned of the situation and then fired her.

“We are taking this matter very seriously,” Adams said. “We have done our utmost to fully cooperate with the police during the investigation as well as ensure the privacy of all involved.”

Adams said the school regularly consults with experts on school safety policies, training and human resources on the safety measures it has in place, which include background checks, fingerprinting and specific training related to child safety.

San Jose Police received reports around 10 a.m. on June 1 that Phelps had allegedly committed lewd acts with a Stratford School student. Later that day Phelps was arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse, according to police.

She was booked into Santa Clara County Jail and is now out of custody, according to police.

Defense attorney Steve Clark did not return a call requesting comment.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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