Marin, Sonoma County school superintendent arrested on suspicion of lewd acts on a child under age 14

The superintendent of Shoreline Unified School District, which has schools in Sonoma and Marin counties, has been arrested on suspicion of committing lewd acts on a child, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Patrick Raines, 67, of Petaluma, was taken into custody Tuesday after investigators established probable cause that he had committed lewd acts against a child younger than the age of 14. The Sheriff’s Office said Raines was released on $50,000 bail.

Raines, who answered the door at his Petaluma home on Tuesday evening, said the allegations were “absolutely false,” and said he would refer a reporter to his attorney.

Sheriff’s and district officials did not say whether the allegations involved a child in the district or how Raines knew the child he is suspected of assaulting.

The Shoreline Unified School District serves a portion of west Sonoma County, including Bodega Bay.

The Sheriff’s Office said it received a report of possible criminal allegations involving a staff member of the Shoreline district on June 1. Raines was immediately put on administrative leave by the district pending the outcome of the investigation by the Sheriff’s Office school resource officer and detectives.

Marin County Office of Education Superintendent Mary Jane Burke released a statement saying, “The health, safety and well-being of all our students is our most important priority. It is the mandate of all schools to follow all relevant laws with regard to any allegations of child abuse.”

According to his LinkedIn page, Raines has worked for Shoreline Unified since 2016. Before that, he worked at rural school districts in Sonoma County including the Alexander Valley Union School District near Healdsburg, the Mark West Union School District and the Wilmar Union School District near Petaluma. Raines was set to retire at the end of the school year and his replacement as superintendent already has been hired, according to Shoreline Unified’s website.

The Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone who has information related to the investigation to contact Detective Patton at 415-473-7265.

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette