WILMINGTON (CBSLA.com) — A former California state senator called for an investigation Monday into what she described as “a pattern of alleged sexual abuse” by teachers and other employees at schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Attorney Martha Escutia said in a statement that the public deserves to “know why LAUSD is unable to protect children and why a majority of alleged sex abusers appear to end up teaching at economically disadvantaged schools.”
The call comes days after law enforcement officials announced the arrest of former LAUSD teacher Robert Pimental on allegations that he allegedly sexually abused at least 20 children at George De La Torre, Jr., Elementary School in the Wilmington district of Los Angeles.
Escutia, who is also an advocate for child sex abuse survivors, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the recent string of abuse cases within LAUSD all share at least one common characteristic.
“What do San Fernando, South L.A., and Wilmington have in common? They’re all poor neighborhoods; they’re all strongly Latino neighborhoods, and they’re getting teachers that have been abusing kids for quite a while,” Escutia said.
She said any investigation should focus on whether known abusers were intentionally assigned or moved by district officials to the poorest neighborhoods.
Pimental faces eight counts of continuous sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child following his arrest on Jan. 23.
The fourth-grade teacher was placed on administrative leave on March 19, 2012, before a 10-month long investigation into accusations made by female students.