EL SERENO (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Unified School District is facing a lawsuit after three students alleged a former teacher sexually abused them.
Louis Carrillo, the lead defense attorney in the lawsuit, claims teacher Armando Gonzalez may have abused as many as 15 children while employed at El Sereno Elementary School.
“The LAUSD was hiding this case from the parents about El Sereno Elementary School, and the LAUSD was also hiding this case from the public at large,” Carrillo told KNX1070.
The plaintiffs said they were molested between 2008 and 2010, however, they only reported the abuse recently, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges that the LAUSD was alerted to allegations of Gonzalez touching, fondling and kissing young girls on the lips dating back to 2007.
The LAPD confirms Gonzalez was arrested in 2010, but would not specify why or how the charges were resolved.
The district moved to fire him in 2012, but he contested and ultimately resigned last week without reaching a settlement, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“At the time, all district protocols were taken and all appropriate actions were taken by the district,” Principal Cheryl Morelan said.
A mother told KNX1070’s Pete Demetriou that Gonzalez didn’t appear out of the ordinary, but she said school officials owe the parents an explanation.
“We leave our kids six to eight hours with them, so for something like this to happen, it’s terrifying,” Roxanne said.
Carrillo also represented dozens families and victims in the $27 million LAUSD settlement over alleged teacher misconduct at Miramonte Elementary School.
The suit stemmed from allegations of sexual abuse at the school by former third grade teacher Mark Berndt. The 61-year-old was arrested in January 2012 and criminally charged with molesting 23 students between the ages of 7 and 10 over a five-year period at the school.
Additional suits involving the school are still pending.
The LAUSD declined to comment on the case involving Gonzalez.