Child Molestation Charges Filed Against Richmond Charter School Teacher Anessa Paige Gower

A former Richmond school teacher is facing multiple charges of child molestation. The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office filed 29 counts against Anessa Paige Gower on April 8, 2022, in Contra Costa County Superior Court. Gower was a biology teacher at Making Waves Academy in Richmond and allegedly engaged in numerous acts of a sexual nature with minors between 2021-2022. The charter school has over 1,100 students in grades 5 through 12.

Making Waves Academy has a history of sexual abuse by teachers. Former Making Waves Teacher Ronald Guinto was convicted of molesting 15 boys in one of the state’s most notorious sex abuse cases and sentenced to 931 years in prison. His victims won a $10.9 million settlement against the school.

Investigators took statements from the victims and witnesses about a number of incidents involving sex acts by Anessa Page Gower with minors including inappropriate touching, and sharing sexually graphic photos over online platforms. The case involves seven minors, so their identities are being withheld.

Richmond Police, with assistance from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Gower at Sacramento International Airport on April 6, 2022, as she was returning to California from Hawaii. She is currently in custody in Richmond.

Additional victims, witnesses and their families are urged to come forward with any information and to immediately contact the Richmond Police Department.

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi has represented hundreds of child sexual abuse victims of teachers and coaches in California schools and Universities. We have secured settlements totaling more than $40 million for families of victims abused in the San Bernardino County schools. We were the lead attorneys helping sexual abuse victims in recover $852 million from the University of Southern California. We are also the lead attorneys representing Olympic athletes and victims of former US Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar and secured $890 million in settlements for our clients. We secured a $243.6 million settlement on behalf of sexual abuse victims at UCLA. In each of these cases we have helped victims and families get justice by conducting a thorough investigation of the organization and the school . We secured a settlement of $140 million on behalf of 81 child sexual abuse victims at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles. This was the largest child sexual abuse settlement by a public school district in history. In many cases we have discovered that administrators and executives know that the perpetrator was a danger to children and either did nothing or actively covered up the crimes.