Lawyer downplays teacher attack charges 

The attorney for a student accused of trying to rape his teacher at a Redwood City high school said Thursday the case won’t sound as serious when the truth comes out.

David Andres Velasquez, 19, pleaded not guilty to four felonies Wednesday in connection with the alleged attack at Summit Preparatory High School on Jan. 23.

Prosecutors said a knife-toting Velasquez emerged from the bushes near a school parking lot, forced the 29-year-old San Francisco woman to her car and tried to rape her.

Another teacher interrupted the attack by screaming at Velasquez, prosecutors said.

The shocking case snagged headlines internationally. But Velasquez’s attorney, C. Zadik Shapiro, said Thursday prosecutors have “overcharged” his client.

“When the truth comes out, it’s not as serious as it sounds,” Shapiro said, adding that his client has had a normal and nonsexual student-teacher relationship with the woman for three years.

He declined to speak further about the case.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said Thursday prosecutors stand by the charges against Velasquez.

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