Tags: lausd | sex | abuse | lawsuits

LAUSD Sex Abuse Lawsuits Involving 30 Kids Cost $88M

Image: LAUSD Sex Abuse Lawsuits Involving 30 Kids Cost $88M
Elementary students' parents leave a meeting with school officials at the George De La Torre Jr. Elementary in the Wilmington area of Los Angeles Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:18 PM

The Los Angeles Unified School District, or LAUSD, will pay $88 million to settle sex abuse lawsuits at two elementary schools.

The cases involved 30 children at De La Torre Elementary in Wilmington and Telfair Avenue Elementary in Pacoima, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The settlement follows a high-profile case involving Miramonte Elementary in Los Angeles.

"We’re glad that we’re able to resolve both of these cases so we can avoid potentially painful litigation and put these cases behind us," said Gregory McNair, a senior attorney with the school district, according to the Times. "We're turning a corner here because we’ve resolved the last two very large cases that were involving the district."

The scandals have sparked changes, including better documentation and retention of allegations, better training on recognizing and reporting abuse, and establishment of a special investigations unit.

The settlement is the second-largest settlement in the district's history, following the Miramonte sex abuse case, which settled for $139 million in 2014, The Associated Press reported.

Teachers Robert Pimentel of De La Torre Elementary and Paul Chapel III of Telfair Avenue Elementary are serving prison sentences of 25 years and 12 years respectively, USA Today reported.

Chapel was accused of abusing a dozen children over a decade, including kissing boys on their genitals, USA Today said. Pimentel was accused of sexually assaulting four girls.

Teacher Mark Berndt is serving a 25-year sentence in the Miramonte case.

“These historic settlements occurred because of overwhelming evidence that the district ignored warnings, employee reports, and parent complaints that both of these horrible men were molesting dozens of children in the classroom,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys said in a statement, according to the AP. “These reports made their way to the highest levels of district leadership where they were either ignored entirely or actively suppressed and the predators allowed to remain in the classroom.”

The settlement was finalized over the weekend and announced Monday.

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The Los Angeles Unified School District, or LAUSD, will pay $88 million to settle sex abuse lawsuits at two elementary schools.
lausd, sex, abuse, lawsuits
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2016-18-17
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:18 PM
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