A former elementary school teacher from Pleasanton who was already convicted of possessing child pornography now faces charges of sexually abusing a child.
Michael Schoop, 63, was charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office with four counts of sodomizing a youngster "under the age of fourteen years and more than ten years younger than defendant," according to documents filed with the court. The second case was alleged to have been three weeks after the first, and the third and fourth cases at a school book fair.
The incidents, court documents say, took place the first time in a portable classroom at Mission Valley Elementary School in Fremont between Jan. 1, 1998, and Dec. 12, 1999. Schoop was a special needs teacher at the school during the time.
Schoop was also charged with engaging in oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under 10, according to an Alameda county jail website.
The former teacher was arrested June 12 in Pleasanton. He was ordered held on $410,000 bail.
A source confirmed that Schoop had asked officials to determine he had been rehabilitated since an earlier conviction for child pornography. While looking into that request, investigators say they found evidence that led to the new charges.
Schoop was convicted on Oct. 28, 2003, on a California charge of possessing obscene matter depicting a child under 18 and on Nov. 18, 2002, on a federal charge of possessing child pornography. He was originally charged with sexual abuse but those charges were dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
His attorney, Bruce Nickerson, said he thinks the new charges against Schoop are "totally specious" and are related to Schoop's effort to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation so he no longer will have to register as a sex offender.
Nickerson said the district attorney alleged that Schoop, who was released from federal prison in 2004, must wait 10 years to obtain the certificate but an appellate court ruled six months ago that he only had to wait seven years.
The attorney said that when Schoop returns to court for a pretrial hearing on June 26 he will ask that the charges against him be dismissed, alleging that they lack specificity.
Nickerson said the Fremont Police Department declined to take any action against Schoop when the allegations about the reputed conduct in 1998 and 1999 first emerged so the new charges are based on the district attorney's own investigation.
If convicted, Schoop faces up to eight years in prison on each of the sodomy counts and 15 years to life on the charge of molesting a child less than 10 years old. He also faces violent felony enhancements to any sentence and would also have to register as a sex offender, and provide blood samples.
He is set for a pretrial hearing on the new charges on June 26 in Oakland.