A female San Dimas teacher’s aide was recently arrested on suspicion of unlawful intercourse with a minor, marking the second time in a month that a Southland teacher was taken into custody for having sex with a student. Law enforcement officers from the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department arrested 31-year-old Mandy Morales this Wednesday after reports surfaced that she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student, which also resulted in her allegedly giving birth to the victim’s child.
Morales was a teacher’s aide at the McKinley Children’s Center, Canyon View School in San Dimas, a city in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles. According to the local authorities, Morales began a sexual relationship with the student in 2011. At the time, the boy was 16 years old.
Investigations were initiated in December after Morales’ journal was found by another employee at Canyon View School. In the journal were detailed accounts of an ongoing sexual relationship with a student. A year after the relationship began, Morales gave birth to a child authorities have confirmed was fathered by the victim. According to a statement provided by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt., the victim maintained contact with the child, although it is not known if the sexual relationship continued.
Morales’ arrest has stunned residents and parents throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Canyon View School, where Morales has worked since 2004, sits on the same property as a nonprofit organization that works with children who have been removed from their homes for abuse and neglect. The k-12 school serves roughly 180 students during the school year. School officials had placed Morales on Administrative leave upon hearing of the allegations and Morales officially resigned last week. They also offer their full cooperation and transparency during the case.
Currently, authorities have no evidence to suggest another victim may be involved, but they urge any potential victims and others with information to come forward. Just over a week ago, Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst was arrested on similar charges relating to an ongoing sexual relationship with a minor. The 28-year-old teacher also gave birth to the victim’s child.
While cases of sexual abuse are shocking in any form, the fact that these two arrests occurred only days apart sheds light on the prevalence of sexual abuse in schools. At the Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, our California sexual abuse attorneys are available to confidentially review victims’ cases, inform them of their rights, and explain how we can help them explore their legal options for justice and compensation. Contact our firm for more information.