RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (January 13, 2023) – A former Riverside County counselor, identified as Ruben Franco, was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse.
Banning Police Department officials are saying that the arrest came nearly two years after a victim came forward with the allegations. The unidentified victim said that they were sexually abused from the ages of 10 to 14.
Ruben Franco was working as a counselor for the school when the alleged abuse took place. An investigation was launched and authorities eventually obtained enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant.
The former counselor was arrested on December 1 without incident. He is currently being held on a $2 million bail.
Liability For Riverside County Student Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse in K-12 schools is much more common than many people realize. According to one report from the National Education Association (NEA), “there were 14,938 incidents of sexual violence in K–12 schools in 2017 – 2018 compared with 9,649 in 2015 – 2016, representing a 55 percent increase.” Many instances of sexual assault are never reported. There are a number of steps that schools and school districts should take in order to prevent sexual abuse.
- School officials should be properly monitored.
- Teachers and other school employees should not be left alone with children.
- School employees should receive sexual harassment training.
- Schools should thoroughly vet prospective employees.
It is illegal for any school employee to have a sexual relationship with a minor. Pursuant to California Penal Code 288, it is a crime for a person to commit any lewd or lascivious act on a child under 16 years of age. This includes touching a child’s body for sexual purposes. The touching does not need to be on bare skin. Many instances of abuse go on for long periods because teachers turn a blind eye to the warning signs of abuse. This could be a crime under California Penal Code 11166(c).
Schools have a legal responsibility to provide students with a reasonably safe environment. A school district could be liable for any instance of sexual abuse if school officials failed to take the necessary action to protect students. Consider, for example, Taylor v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 17 Cal. 2d 594 [110 P.2d 1044], “It is the duty of the school authorities to supervise at all times the conduct of the children on the school grounds and to enforce those rules and regulations necessary to their protection.” There are a number of signs that parents should look for that could indicate sexual abuse.
- Children who are the victims of sexual abuse may have a sharp decline in academic performance.
- Children who are the victims of sexual abuse may develop an aversion to being hugged or touched.
- Children who are the victims of sexual abuse may have recurring nightmares or anxiety attacks.
Sexual abuse is one of the most destructive and harmful things that a child can go through. Victims of sexual abuse are at risk of numerous long-term medical and psychological ailments. Any person that is abused by a school employee may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A sexual abuse attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Riverside County Student Sexual Abuse
We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our best wishes to the student involved in this incident. Any other potential victims should consider stepping forward and speaking with authorities. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to make the Riverside County safer for everyone.
Have you or someone that you care about been the victims of sexual abuse? Our team of experienced and compassionate sexual abuse attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We care deeply that abuse victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of help we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.