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Lawsuit links old-time child abuse to San Jose, Mountain View, Santa Cruz schools – Mercury News

Five men and three women have filed a lawsuit claiming they were sexually abused decades ago by two teachers who worked in public schools in San Jose, Mountain View and Santa Cruz.

One lawsuit, filed on behalf of five men between the ages of 37 and 64, alleges that they were sexually abused as boys by men who worked as teachers in the Mountain View Wisman School District and Santa Cruz Public Schools. claim. Her second lawsuit, filed on behalf of her three women, aged 56 to her 58, alleges she was sexually abused as a girl by her first-grade teacher at the Alum Rock Union School District. claim.

The lawsuit was filed under Congressional Bill 218, opening a three-year period ending in December to make it easier for adults to sue over past sexual abuse. The law has sparked numerous lawsuits against schools and other institutions that run youth programs, including Boy Scouts and Catholic parishes.

Court proceedings under the law permit initial judicial review to determine whether there are sufficient merits to proceed with the action.

The lawsuit, filed by a woman now in her 50s, was filed against Alum Rock Union School District in Santa Clara County Superior Court on December 27. From 1970 to her 1973, when a woman was in her first grade at William R. Rogers Elementary School, a male teacher forced a girl to sit on her lap and touch her sexually during her class. rice field.

According to the complaint, other students in the class noticed that the teacher “had a special fondness for girls in skirts and dresses,” and in 1972 one concerned parent became the parish’s deputy. He said he met with the principal and expressed concern about the inappropriate behavior of the teachers. The lawsuit alleges the district failed to track down or report complaints to authorities.

Since at least 1980, school officials have been required under California law to report suspected child abuse to authorities under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.

“The sad reality is that the effects of childhood sexual abuse are lingering on these women.
More than 50 years,” attorney Lauren Cerri said in a statement. She said, “It’s safe to say that the abuse changed the lives of three women. They lived most of their lives with guilt and shame.”

Alum Rock Union School District did not immediately comment on Tuesday.

The second lawsuit was filed in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on December 28 against the Mountain View Wisman School District, the district’s Crittenden Middle School teacher and vice principal, and Traveling School Inc. (a teacher-run program supervised by Wisman). was filed against And by 1987, it was a school district in the city of Santa Cruz.

According to the lawsuit, the two alleged victims were Crittenden students from 1970 to 1975, and teachers drugged them, encouraged them to wear little or no clothes, and harassed them in front of the students. They groomed and abused students by removing their clothes and touching them inappropriately. .

Three other victims, who were students in a traveling school program from 1987 to 1991, allege similar abuse.

According to the complaint, California tax authorities have suspended a traveling school program established in Santa Cruz County in 2000.

Mountain View Wisman and the City of Santa Cruz School District were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

“This teacher is believed to have taught in nearly 20 schools in at least six countries and three states,” said Cerri. “It is believed that there are dozens of victims. “

https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/02/07/lawsuits-link-long-ago-child-abuse-to-schools-in-san-jose-mountain-view-and-santa-cruz/ Lawsuit links old-time child abuse to San Jose, Mountain View, Santa Cruz schools – Mercury News

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