EVOLVING LAWSUITS: LOS ANGELES SCHOOL DISTRICT
Protecting the rights of students and parents
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Rules in place to protect the safety of school children can fail to do so.
Los Angeles residents are now learning with dismay of a teacher charged with molesting students at a Wilmington elementary school. Were other students also victimized at this school or at another the teacher was previously assigned to? And how effective were school officials in overseeing both locations and preventing sexual abuse?
All Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employees are required by law to report allegations of sexual misconduct to police. They also are obligated to report such issues to their supervisors, as per school district policies.
However, just as in a few past instances, this apparently did not occur in this case. As a result, the safety of children was put in jeopardy.
LAUSD teacher Robert Pimentel, age 57, has now been formally charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts on children under age 14 and with eight felony counts of continuous sexual abuse involving eight victims. The charges range across the period from September 2011 to March 2012, when Pimentel worked at George de la Torre Jr. Elementary School.
He is currently in custody and being held on $12 million bail.
Also being looked into are accusations dating from 2002 that he engaged in inappropriate acts while on the faculty of Dominguez Elementary School in Carson.
Particularly disturbing are allegations that the principal serving at both these schools knew of such accusations but neglected to notify police. The principal in question had first heard accusations of sexual misconduct by this teacher years before the instructor’s eventual arrest, according to the L.A. schools chief.
Having been jolted by the lurid details of a sexual abuse case just last year involving elementary school students, the Los Angeles Unified School District officials moved rapidly. Pimentel was pulled from his classroom, the state teacher credentialing commission was notified, and parents were alerted. When it became clear that years-old allegations against Pimentel hadn’t been thoroughly investigated, the principal at his school was also removed.
Lawsuits are now being filed on behalf of parents.
The firm of Owen, Patterson & Owen has been representing victims of sexual abuse and trauma for over 30 years. Our legal experts are especially moved when young victims are abused by those they (and their parents) have placed in a position of trust.
Listed below are just a few of the cases where we have helped victims of sexual abuse and trauma achieve justice:
- 16 year old boy molested by his baseball coach for 3 years. A $3.5 million settlement resulted.
- Boy Scout Troop leader took 12 year old boy on “special” camping trips where he would “snuggle” into the same sleeping bag. A $780,000 settlement resulted.
- Female stroke victim in a residential care facility molested by a maintenance man. A $1 million settlement resulted.
- 94 year old woman living in a residential care facility was sexually assaulted by the cook. A jury verdict brought her a $12.5 million award.
Start With a Free Consultation. Call us at (800) 676.5295 or send us an email to schedule a meeting and discuss your situation. Let us show you just how our highly experienced group of personal injury attorneys can help.