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Palo Alto Math Tutor Under Investigation for Sexual Assault

Palo Alto Math Tutor Under Investigation for Sexual Assault

The arraignment of 74-year-old math tutor Mark Allan Hodes is scheduled for Dec. 23. The Palo Alto Police Department arrested Hodes in August and charged him sexually molesting teenagers at his residence during private math lessons between the years of 2002 and 2016.

The investigation of these allegations began in June 2020, when two women in their 20s reported to the PAPD that they were allegedly molested by Hodes. 

The PAPD investigation identified seven alleged victims between the ages of 14 and 17 who said they were sexually assaulted by Hodes. Detectives say the suspect Hodes may have victimized additional students of the same age.

Hodes, employed by families, not school districts, tutored students from many local high schools including Paly, Castilleja, Gunn and Gideon Hausner Jewish Day school. He tutored students in math at his private residence in a closed-off office. 

Many students and parents who hired Hodes as a tutor said they were repulsed to hear of his arrest. 

A 2020 Paly graduate who was tutored but not assaulted by Hodes said, “I was disgusted and appalled when I found out. It sort of made sense since there had been times when I felt mildly uncomfortable, so I wasn’t shocked, but I was still pretty taken aback, and I remember hearing the news made my stomach hurt. I know that my situation could have been much worse, and realizing that I could have been taken advantage of so easily was a scary thought.”

The Campanile is not naming this Paly grad to protect her privacy.

She also said in light of the charges against Hodes, she has reconsidered how easily she places her trust in people.

“I also talked about it with someone else that I knew had had him as a tutor, which provided some comfort, but also exacerbated my disgust since he had made both of us uncomfortable at times,” she said. “It also made me realize that while I am generally pretty trusting of people and their intentions, that may not be the best approach to situations, especially where it involves a power dynamic.”

Santa Clara County Public Information Officer Cynthia Sumida said, “Mr. Hodes is out on bail pending arraignment, and lengthy delays before arraignments for individuals who are out of custody is unfortunately common at this time, in part because of the ongoing public health emergency.” 

Sumida also said The Palo Alto Police Department is continuing its investigation and she encourages anyone with any information to contact the department at (650) 329-2413, no matter how much time has passed since any incident involving Hodes. 

Neither Hodes nor his attorney responded to interview requests.


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