Former district employee awaits hearing for sex crime

Richard Rojo is accused of engaging in sexual activities with two underage girls


Rojo is accused of having sexual engagements with two different underage girls.

Richard Rojo, the former communications employee at the San Mateo County Community College District accused of sex crimes, is set to appear in court for an upcoming plea hearing.

After the second plea hearing wasn’t held on Oct. 7, Rojo is again scheduled to appear before a Santa Clara County judge at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Hall of Justice. The first plea hearing was held in September.

“It looks like the case has been continued at the request of both sides for further investigation,” said Santa Clara County district attorney’s office spokesperson Cynthia Sumida. “The next court date is set for December 10 and the defendant is facing three years and eight months in prison.”

Rojo, 53, is said to have engaged in sexual activities with two underage girls, according to San Jose Police. The first incident took place in November 2020 with a 14-year-old he reportedly met on social media. SJPD was notified of the developments the next month, when a second incident with a 15-year-old was reported.

After SJPD issued a warrant for his arrest on May 4, Rojo turned himself into police and posted bail shortly after. At the time he was taken into custody, Rojo was serving as the District’s interim director of public affairs.

Directly after the arrest, Rojo was placed on an unpaid administrative leave by the District, who claimed they had no prior knowledge of any criminal behavior related to any of their employees and that they would be in full cooperation with SJPD regarding the matter.

On June 23, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to terminate Rojo’s employment with the District.

The Skyline View learned that Rojo possibly continued working for at least seven days after having turned himself in to authorities, as he was originally responsible for writing an update on SMCCCD’s website on May 11. The byline has since been adjusted to reflect the entire district.

At the time, District employees were reached out to for a comment on the issue, but never responded to the possibility.

Rojo has worked in the communications industry for over 20 years, having been employed in many different positions since graduating from Princeton University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He has served in communication roles at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding.

In 2001, Rojo was hired at UC Davis as the director of marketing and communications at Mondavi Center, a performing arts center on the school’s campus. He had also held positions at California State University, Sacramento, and University of Pacific before joining SMCCCD in 2017 as the director of marketing and community relations.

In February, Rojo began working as the interim director of public affairs at the chancellor’s office in a full-time role.

San Jose Police are still asking the public for assistance in finding other possible victims that have come in contact with Rojo or any additional information regarding this case.