Locals provide support for Carbajal family

Dozens of friends and family members filled a Palo Alto courtroom last week for Pedro Carbajal's scheduled plea bargain, comforting his wife and exchanging laughs and tears as the local soccer coach and community leader -- arrested on charges of child molestation -- appeared in handcuffs and a prison uniform.

Two days later, on Friday of last week, many of those same friends and neighbors gathered at the Community Center at Rengstorff Park, where Carbajal coached his free soccer teams twice a week. The meeting was private, but some of the 50 participants said they set up a bank account to help support the family while Carbajal is in prison.

Some who knew Carbajal said they are still coming to grips with the arrest, but are focusing on supporting Carbajal's wife and five children, who range in age from 3 to 12. Carbajal, who worked as a chef at the Palo Alto law firm Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, supported his family financially. His wife, Gloria Reyes, is a part-time preschool teacher at Castro Elementary School.

"We are focusing on the family and friends and how we can go forward with this devastating matter," said Marilu Delgado, who volunteered with Carbajal in Community Acting Together, or CAT, a grassroots organization in the Castro neighborhood.

Currently, Delgado and Ellen Wheeler, a Mountain View Whisman School District trustee and lawyer, are helping Reyes navigate the legal system. Standing outside the Palo Alto courthouse with Reyes after last week's court hearing, Wheeler stated that "we do not know" whether Carbajal is innocent or guilty.

"What we do know," she said, "is this family needs support. This is going to be a long process and they need help for a long time."

Public defender Ross McMahon was assigned to Carbajal's case during the March 11 hearing, and immediately requested more time to run his own investigation. Judge Douglas Southard postponed the plea bargain until May 6. Carbajal's bail is currently set a $2 million.

As a bailiff escorted Carbajal to the elevator, friends and family members waited in the hall to exchange one last glance.

"The family was always generous in the community," said Delgado, a Los Altos resident. "It is very hard. There aren't words for what we are feeling."

Police arrested Carbajal on Friday, Feb. 27 on three counts of lewd and lascivious acts with children under age 14 and one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Police say the victims are all sisters and members of Carbajal's extended family, and that most of the incidents occurred at family events when Carbajal would leave with the girls.

The alleged crimes happened between three and 10 years ago. The girls told police that they kept the incidents a secret because they did not want to hurt their family or get in trouble. The youngest victim confided in an adult after getting in trouble at school. She said she was acting out at school because she was angry, according to the police report.

Carbajal ran a free soccer league in Mountain View, called the Amigos Soccer League, to keep boys away from gangs.

"He has been an upstanding member of the community," McMahon said of Carbajal after his court appearance. "He has a lot of support from the community."


Money can be donated to the family through:

The Reyes Family Children Fund

Heritage Bank of Commerce

175 East El Camino Real

Mountain View, CA 94040


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Well, my recommendation for how to deal Carbajal in a previous article got banned. Apparently my reference to a noose offended the pro-molester community. Whatever. Moving on ...

Molesters gravitate to situations where they can have easier access to their victims, so it is not unusual to molesters to get in these positions where they can be alone with children and not be questioned. [portion removed]

Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Mar 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Don Frances is a registered user.

Your posts advocating violent-mob vigilantism will be banned every time. It's really not "pro-molester" to require a modicum of class.

In that same vein, I'm taking down the "fat guy" remark as it is gratuitous and disrespectful.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Well, I think that's a bit tight, but ...

Anyway, the point is that people think this guy is a hero because he volunteered himself to be in a position where he has unquestioned access to children. I on the other hand question his motives and actions in light of these horrendous crimes.

Maybe this analogy is better ... a pedophile who volunteers to direct children activities is like a person with a substance abuse for puts himself in a situation where is has easy and unobserved access to the substance.

Posted by gdm, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:25 pm

We can't just assume that Carbajal is guilty because he has not been convicted. It is easily within the realm of possibility that the charges are false.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm

The man may well be convicted of this crime, but an accusation does NOT prove guilt-far from it.

Regardless, the focus of the article is on those who are tending to this mans FAMILY. USA, would you deny them much-needed support? Should they be tarred and feathered before a trial as well?

Posted by Chad, a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I know Pedro and his family. I know who the accusers are. There is much more to this case than the point you are making, USA.

Yes, pedophiles will try to get close to children. In almost every case, a pedophile will favor one sex only, though. In this case, Pedro is accused of sex crimes against 3 female extended family members. Not boys.

There are no girls on any of Pedro's teams. I distintly remember one day at Soccer practice. There were 6 girls there to play soccer, between the ages of 9 and 11. There were almost enough for a full team. Pedro refused to coach them because he is a man. He also refused to allow any other male to coach them. He attempted to recruit a female coach and was unsuccessful. The team was not created because he distinctly understood the problems inherent to coaching young girls. Seems to me that he would have jumped at that "opportunity" if he was a pedophile.

Now, I'm not saying he's innocent and I'm not saying he's guilty. He hasn't entered a plea and we simply don't know.

I'm very happy to see this community reach out to him. This is about his wife and their five children. Regardless of his innocence of his guilt, Pedro's family deserves and needs our support.

I was one of those friends in the courtroom that day. The entire community of people there are focused on helping the family, as well as the truth, no matter what it is. If he is guilty, we will find out and he will pay the price. If he is not, we will rally around him to help him re-establish himself in this community.

This article was a great help toward that. To take it one step further, I'm including the Bank account number if you'd like to make a donation.

I was and continue to be amazed at the love of the people in this community.

If you'd like to contact me, feel free.

Chad Cottle

The Reyes Family Children Fund
Heritage Bank of Commerce
175 E. El Camino Real
Phone: 888-494-4599
Account Number: 121142287 243003027

Posted by Community Member, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I agree with everyone's comments. Look at it this way USA - imagine if your nieces got in trouble at school and then they fabricated a story about you molesting them to explain why they have been acting up. False accusations that they are claiming happened 10+years ago. After the city investigates for 6 days and goes based on these girls' stories they decide to arrest you. After further investigation they find no other victims or sources of foul play(Knowing that molesters/pedophiles continue their actions repeatedly, yet they have no other evidence). How would you feel? Especially knowing that when you get out after you have been proven guilty it will take a long time before you get over this. Also, considering that you were not able to be with your family for 3 months - while they await the lawyer to begin the case. Finally all the stressed involved in not knowing who will represent you or if the public defendant will have enough knowlege/experience.

I think it is unfair to jump to judgement based on the accusations. If there had been multiple counts of offense then I would understand why people jumped to conclusions.

If these girls are lying they better come clean now.

I appreciate everyone that has been helping their family out economically and emotionally. I do not personally know them nor do I know Pedro, but while living out of the area I heard about his soccer program and his involvement in the community. I think it is a great idea that the account in their name has opened because it allowed me to make a donation since I do not know how to get in contact with them. I applaud everyone who has helped.

Hope everything works out for the best.

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