Three Girls Sexually Assaulted By 22-Year-Old Suspect at Burbank High School
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA (March 8, 2023) – Three girls were sexually assaulted by a 22-year-old suspect identified as Patrick Nazarian while they were attending classes at Burbank High School.
Burbank police were called to Burbank High School around 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Three female students reported being inappropriately touched by the suspect.
One victim said that she was sexually assaulted by Patrick Nazarian in the girl’s restroom. She was able to escape the bathroom and the suspect was later captured by school employees.
Two other girls aged 14 and 17 also told police that they were inappropriately touched by the suspect. Police believe that Patrick Nazarian was able to gain access to the school through an unlocked door in the student parking lot.
The suspect is currently being held on a $1.2 million bond and is scheduled to appear in court on March 8, 2023.
Liability For Sexual Assaults At Burbank High School
Sexual assaults in high schools are much more common than many people realize. California, in particular, has an above average rate of sexual assaults. According to the University of California San Diego, “More than 86 percent of women in California (compared with 81 percent nationally) and 53 percent of men (compared with 43 percent nationally) report having experienced some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.” Many sexual assaults can be prevented at schools when the right safety protocols are in place.
- Schools should thoroughly vet all prospective employees.
- Security guards may be needed for schools that have a history of assaults on campus.
- All instances of suspected sexual harassment should be properly reported and investigated.
Depending on the facts of any case, a school district could be liable if a student in their care is sexually assaulted. School districts have a “special relationship” with the minor students that they care for. A school district owes a duty of care to its students because of this special relationship. See, for example, C.A v. William S. Hart Union High Sch. Dist. However, the special relationship by itself does not create liability in civil claims. Tort liability against school districts is based upon statute. This could include Cal. Gov. Code § 820. Per the statute, “a public employee is liable for injury caused by his act or omission to the same extent as a private person.” In examining potential school district liability for a sexual assault, it’s important to understand the status of the assailant and the location of the assault.
In Leger v. Stockton Unified School Dist. (1988) 202 Cal. App. 3d 1448, a California Court of Appeal considered a case where a student was assaulted by a non-student in a school restroom. Attorneys for the student argued that the school failed to protect the minor plaintiff from the attack. This was true even though they knew or should have known that the restroom was unsafe and attacks were likely to occur. The Court of Appeal sided with the injured student. They determined that school districts can be liable for on-campus assaults due to a school’s failure to supervise. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any school sexual assault.
- A police report detailing the assault should be made.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- The history of sexual assaults at the school should be understood.
- It should be determined if the school had any policies in place to prevent sexual assaults.
Schools must enforce all rules and procedures that are necessary for the safety of the students that they care for. When a school fails to protect students from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. Any person that is sexually assaulted at a California high school may be able to seek some measure of accountability through a a civil claim. Sexual assaults are no small matter. Victims often suffer from long-term psychological trauma and are more prone to a wide range of negative health outcomes. A sexual abuse attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Sexual Assaults At Burbank High School
We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our best wishes to all of the girls injured in these assaults at Burbank High School. It is our sincere hope that the school district will take measures to prevent other assaults. There are few things that are more destructive and harmful to the development and well-being of a child than sexual abuse. School officials need to take what happened seriously.
Have you or someone that you care about been the victim of sexual abuse at Burbank High School? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of experienced sexual abuse attorneys are here for you. We care deeply that abuse victims are aware of their rights and that school districts are doing everything in their power to keep children safe. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.