$50,000 bail set for student jailed for harassment, violation of probation


Screenshot courtesy Lauren Spates.

SJRC police arrested a former student for harassing female students in online classes.

Santa Rosa Junior College District Police arrested an SRJC student Wednesday afternoon after receiving reports he harassed female students in online classes he claimed to be auditing. Police found him to be in violation of parole for an earlier sex crime conviction and booked him into the Sonoma County Jail.   

District police said Peter Matthew Duranceau, a 23-year-old Bodega resident, “contacted multiple female [SRJC] students by electronic means other than for educational purposes.” After questioning Duranceau, police determined he was “not being of good conduct and was in violation of his current probationary court terms in Sonoma County.”

According to SRJC staff, Duranceau contacted multiple instructors across all disciplines in an attempt to gain access to online classes. He requested permission to audit classes, which would allow him to observe and contact students enrolled in the course. Once in the classes that accepted him, Duranceau contacted several female students and harassed them, asking for private information.

Anne Donegan, an SRJC history instructor, received emails from several of her department members stating after they added Duranceau to their rosters, students complained he contacted them asking to “study together.”

“Along with my faculty colleagues, the administration also took this seriously and acted quickly to stop this man,” Donegan said.

According to a 2015 Sebastopol Police Department report, Duranceau was arrested for sending explicit messages and pictures to two teenage girls via social media and for sending lewd messages — including a photo of his penis — to a Sebastopol police officer posing as a 15-year-old.

Per SRJC District Police, he was convicted of sending harmful matter with the intent to seduce a minor.

Duranceau is banned from SRJC property for 14 days to give administrators time to investigate whether an extended ban is warranted.

Duranceau appeared in court on Feb. 8 when bail was set at $50,000. He is due in court on Thursday, Feb. 14.

District police are asking anyone whom Duranceau approached to contact them at 707-527-1000.