Testimony to the San Joaquin County Grand Jury by other Traina teachers and Moffitt herself reveals a number of on-campus incidents, including Golden massaging a fourth-grade boy and dancing provocatively toward a female student.
The 59-year-old fourth-grade teacher is accused of 21 counts of lewd acts upon a child, 11 counts of molesting a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Moffitt testified before the grand jury Aug. 2 about incidents involving Golden and his students while he taught both second and fourth grades.
Moffitt, who told the panel she was the school administrator between 2004 and 2012, first talked with Golden about inappropriate behavior at the beginning of the 2005-06 school year, shortly after he became a second-grade teacher.
The principal warned him about swearing in front of his students and how to address a child hugging him, according to the grand jury report.
Moffitt testified that she told Golden, “Male teachers are highly scrutinized. If some little kid comes up to you and they run at you, you don’t want to go, ‘Eww, get away from me.’ You need to make every effort to have them to your side, because that’s the safest place for you and the way it looks in the community and for them, because you are a male teacher, and this is our society. That’s how it is.”
First reports of molestation
The first evidence Golden had allegedly molested someone came in November 2006.
Grand jury witness Jane Doe No. 10 told the panel that Golden touched her vagina while she was in his classroom for a school project.
Moffitt confirmed the report and testified that before the incident, Golden had approached her about Jane Doe No. 10 acting too friendly toward him. He had said the girl was poking him in the belly and pulling on his tie.
Moffitt testified that she told Golden to arrange a meeting with the child’s parents and warned him, “You are not to be alone with kids in the classroom at all, with no one there.”
Moffitt then told the grand jury that she was contacted in August 2010 by a male student’s parents, who accused Golden of inappropriately touching the boy’s skin in the classroom.
The principal reported confronting Golden.
“I said, ‘Darrel, do you not understand how weird that is as a parent,’” Moffitt told the grand jury. “I’m weirded out by it. Why, why would you do that?”
She testified that Golden told her he did it because his son had lizard-like skin and he was doing a comparison.
Moffitt explained to the jury that she told him, “Darrel, that doesn’t matter. You don’t touch them. You don’t touch the kids.”
Teachers disturbed by Golden’s behavior
A fellow fourth-grade teacher, Stephen Day, testified to the grand jury that he talked with Golden dozens of times about Golden’s conduct with students and what Day called “bad judgment.”
“Mr. Golden, he just had a knack for using bad judgment,” Day reported to the grand jury. “I felt like it was a constant reminder. I felt like it was a reflection on me and other male teachers that you had to take those extra steps.”
Day also testified, “It seemed like on a regular basis I would walk by and he would be in with students and the door would be closed. I would just push it open and smile and walk on.”
Day told the grand jury that he once opened Golden’s closed classroom door and saw a female student sitting on the teacher’s lap. The child was later confirmed to be grand jury witness Jane Doe No. 1.
“He (Golden) was having lunch in his room with some of his students, which was a regular thing,” Day testified. “It’s a big reward for the kids.”
“I walked over and I just looked at him and said, ‘What are you doing?’”
Day testified that Golden threw up his hands and made a gesture that he didn’t know what to do. Day reported that he told Golden that he was the adult and needed to take control of the situation. Day then turned and walked out, according to the grand jury report.
Day testified that he never reported the incident to Moffitt, the principal, because he “wanted to support a colleague.”
Seventh-grade teacher Luz Venegas testified that in March 2012, she saw Golden dancing provocatively toward a student in his classroom.
Venegas said it was during a program called Reading Buddies, when her seventh-graders went to Golden’s class to read with his fourth-graders.
While the students were being paired up for their reading lesson, one girl was left without a buddy. Venegas described for the grand jury what occurred next.
“He (Golden) called to the student, dancing, and said, ‘Come to me. Come to me. Oh, I don’t bite. Oh, maybe just twice a little.’”
When Venegas approached him about his actions, she testified, Golden looked down at her chest and told the student, “See, she’s not fully covered. I already bit her.”
Venegas told the grand jury the girl looked at her fearfully, so she took her into the hallway, away from Golden.
The seventh-grade teacher discussed the incident with another teacher and then reported it to Moffitt and wrote a letter to Jefferson Elementary School District human resources officials, according to her testimony.
Moffitt testified that she discussed the dancing incident with Golden and told him, “I don’t even know where you’re going with this.”
Moffitt recalled saying, “Darrel, do you not understand that the dance that you did in front of all those students was just inappropriate? You used very poor judgment. Why would you dance like that? That’s just disgusting,” according to the grand jury report.
She testified that when she told Golden she was going to write him up, he told her he was going to get representation.
Moffitt reported Golden to the director of human resources and district Superintendent Dana Eaton, according to her testimony, and all of her actions were based on their orders.
As principal, she tried to “keep an eye” on Golden with periodic checks to his room, according to her testimony. She testified that she never witnessed any misconduct.
Moffitt left Traina before the 2012-13 school year to become principal of Tenaya Elementary School in Groveland.
Golden was suspended from teaching at Traina after a school custodian reported seeing him touch the buttocks of a 9-year-old girl Nov. 28, 2012.
Golden is scheduled to return to San Joaquin County Superior Court for further arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 9. Case Deputy District Attorney Elton Grau said he is in discussions with Golden’s attorney and they might have a resolution to the case at that time.
Golden is in custody in San Joaquin County Jail on $22 million bail.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.