California Injury Attorneys

Focus on School's Enabling in Juvenile's Sexual Abuse Case

There's not just one notable point that strongly emerged from the evidence offered at a recently concluded child sexual abuse trial involving the San Diego Unified School District.

Sadly, there are several, and they mirror the realities that recurrently feature in such cases in California and across the country.

Here's one such point: Teachers command insider positions when it comes to an ability to manipulate and ultimately take illegal advantage of young persons who deeply trust them.

And here's another: When the proverbial smoke clears on "what happened here" evidence concerning school-based abuse, it isĀ often the case that third-party negligence enabled the criminal actions of a child predator.

The above-cited trial that ended last week spotlighted the manipulative "grooming" of a young student by his teacher, and her subsequent sexual involvement with her target - both on and off school grounds - over many months. Reportedly, her victim (now 19) suffered extreme symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from the ordeal.

The teacher was sentenced to a two-year prison term for her conduct. The trial jury in the just-concluded civil trial awarded the victim $2.1 million in damages.

Jurors focused closely on the school district itself during trial, with their verdict stressing that fully 40% of the harm suffered by the victim owed to the district's negligence. Trial testimony stressed school officials' laxity in responding to overt "red flags," as well as lack of an adequate abuse reporting process.

"I couldn't believe there was no site [official school] file," said one juror following the trial's conclusion. "She could've been written up for anything."

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