LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Southern California teacher at Hamilton High School, Barry Smolin, is accused of grooming a female student and eventually sexually abusing her, and now there is a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District and the accused teacher.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday contends that more than a decade ago, Smolin’s “inappropriate relationship with (the) plaintiff was the worst kept secret at Hamilton.”
The complaint alleges that Smolin groomed the teen, beginning when she was just a first-year student, giving her music, books, and eventually alcohol and drugs.
In the 2009 and 2010 school year when the plaintiff was a 17-year-old senior, the relationship turned physical, according to the complaint.
“Most concerning is that it took place in his classroom,” said the plaintiff’s attorney Brendan Gilbert. “It’s my understanding is that he had a couch in his classroom and the sexual abuse would take place there during lunchtime.”
In the lawsuit, it reads that during a sexual encounter in Smolin’s classroom, “another teacher walked in and Smolin literally threw plaintiff off of him and onto the seat next to him.”
The complaint contends that a second teacher at the school was aware of the sexual relationship as well.
“That’s something that should have been reported and passed along to law enforcement because that teacher was a mandated reporter,” Gilbert said.
The LAPD was eventually contacted by a friend of the plaintiff according to the plaintiff’s attorney, but it is unclear exactly what came of that investigation.
“She finally felt comfortable to speak her truth,” Gilbert said.
The lawsuit, which names both Smolin and LAUSD, seeks unspecified damages.
In a statement, LAUSD says it has not seen the lawsuit and doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Smolin is still listed on the school website as a teacher.
Smolin has not responded to KCAL9/CBS2’s request for comment.