LOS ANGELES — A recent lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) claims that district officials were aware of the sexual misconduct allegations against a De La Torre Elementary School teacher in 2009, but did nothing to address it.
Police arrested Robert Pimentel, 57, in January on suspicions that he molested as many as 20 students between September 2011 and March 2012. He has been charged with sexual misconduct involving 12 children under the age of 14, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to the lawsuit, there is a document dated Oct. 12, 2009 from the school district that reports on a protest by parents outside the back gate of the school. During the protest, parents reported that Pimentel was known to caress female students, give them candy and photograph them without parent permission, according to attorney Luis Carrillo. The document is currently labeled as confidential.
Carrillo, who represents families of three students, as well as a former teacher who accused Pimentel of inappropriate behavior, states that the district never called the police nor did anyone file the suspected child abuse report. The school principal, Irene Hinojosa, who had been aware of allegations against Pimentel in 2002 and 2009, was removed because district officials were not satisfied with how Pimentel’s alleged activities were handled.
Pimentel has pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
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