The Los Angeles Unified School District is facing yet another possible scandal with last week's arrest of Joaquin Diaz. Diaz, 44, a former San Fernando Valley teaching assistant who worked with special education students, stands accused of child molestation and kidnapping.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, Diaz worked in a number of schools in the district, including Valley View Elementary, Woodland Hills Academy, and Portola Middle School. The most recent school he worked at was Sunny Brae Elementary in Winnetka, where one of the two male accusers attended.
It is believed that Diaz abused one victim at Sunny Brae Elementary from July 2015 to May 2016. An older accuser, now 19, claims that he was also abused from September 2009 through December 2014. Diaz has pleaded not guilty and is due in court again in late June. If convicted, he could face multiple life sentences in state prison.
Another LAUSD Scandal
Diaz was an LAUSD employee at the time of the alleged molestation, but authorities have revealed that it is still unclear whether the abuse occurred while he was working as an employee or as a private tutor. Following his arrest, the LAUSD released this statement: "L.A. Unified has worked diligently to provide a secure environment for all students to learn and succeed. However, a small number of individuals have acted in gross violation of the district's commitment to keep our children safe."
The LAUSD has faced a barrage of allegations and lawsuits over the last few years claiming abuse and inappropriate conduct from employees who had troubled histories. District officials have revealed that they're working on new policies and databases to curb the instances of abuse, but the total amount in damages the LAUSD has faced has already topped $300 million.
If you believe an institution like the LAUSD facilitated inappropriate actions against you or a loved one, then you may have grounds to seek compensation. At The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, our knowledgeable and compassionate California civil law attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of wronged individuals who should have been shielded from harm. We can help you assess your legal options and, if necessary, take decisive legal action against the responsible parties.
It is possible to face this difficult time with confidence. Call our advocates today.