A volunteer accused of molesting two children at the Sanyu Learning Center in Mountain View in 2017 pleaded guilty earlier this month, court records show. He now faces 12 years in prison.
Cupertino resident Yizhuang "John" Liu, 27, pleaded guilty to four counts of molesting children under the age of 14 while he volunteered at an after-school Chinese language program at the center, located at 1425 S. Springer Road.
Two families separately reported to the Mountain View Police Department in February 2018 that Liu had inappropriately touched their sons over the course of several months, roughly between September and December the prior year.
The department arrested Liu the next day on molestation charges and conducted a broad search for additional victims, concerned that he might have communicated with other victims using the social media app Discord. The criminal complaint against Liu included charges only related to the original two victims, ages 10 and 11.
The guilty plea includes two counts of child molestation for each victim, according to Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Malinsky. Other charges originally pursued by prosecutors, including molestation with use of force or threat of bodily injury and possession of child pornography, have been dropped.
Over the course of the court proceedings, Liu spent most of his time on home detention with GPS monitoring. As part of the guilty plea, Malinsky said that Liu is waiving his right to reduce his prison sentence with credit he would have otherwise received for time spent in home detention.
Malinsky said she believes the guilty plea holds Liu accountable and protects the community, and she commended the children who initially reported that they were inappropriately touched.
"I think it's important to comment on how brave the two boys are for being willing to talk about this and come forward," she said. "It's very difficult to do, and the fact that they did means (Liu) will no longer be able to work in after-school programs like this one."
A sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place on Jan. 10, according to the court website.