LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Attorneys for students who were sexually abused by Los Angeles Unified School District teachers Paul Chapel and Robert Pimentel say they have won an $18.4 million settlement on behalf of their clients.
Attorneys with Manly, Stewart & Finaldi announced the $18.4 million settlement Wednesday, and it’s a portion of the $25 million settlement of child sex abuse claims approved by the Los Angeles Board of Education Tuesday.
Five former students of Pimentel will receive a total of $10 million, while the $8.4 million will go to four of Chapel’s former students.
Chapel, a former third-grade teacher at Telfair Elementary School in Pacoima, was sentenced to 25 years in state prison after being arrested in October 2011 for sexually abusing 13 children. Pimentel, who was a De La Torre Elementary School teacher, is serving a 12-year sentence for sexually abusing three students and a female relative.
The law firm says the LAUSD knew about the complaints and reports of past sexual misconduct by both teachers but kept them in the classroom with access to children.
“LAUSD’s cover-up culture needs to change, or these children will never be protected from sexual abuse at school,” John Manly, the lead attorney in all the cases, said in a statement.