Child abuse

Richard Turner Arrested For Sexually Abusing Students In LAUSD

Child abuseLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (October 4, 2022) – An LAUSD trainer identified as Richard Turner has been arrested for sexually abusing multiple students, according to CBS Los Angeles

Los Angeles County officials are saying that they are looking for any additional victims. Richard Turner worked for two separate LAUSD schools and is facing more than 15 felony counts.

He is being charged with forcible rape, sexual penetration of an unconscious person,  and penetration by use of force. Prosecutors are set to arraign him on Tuesday afternoon at a Van Nuys courthouse.

The charges come after a report to the Los Angeles Police Department that Richard Turner inappropriately touched a student at Birmingham Community Charter High School in Van Nuys. He is currently being held on a $750,000 bail. 

Prosecutors believe that the former LAUSD school teacher abused 10 student athletes. The victims were seeking rehabilitation from sports injuries when the assaults took place. 

Some of the victims are also believed to have attended Van Nuys High School. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time. 

Liability For Los Angeles Unified School District Sexual Assaults 

Schools are supposed to be a safe space for students to learn and grow. But far too often, innocent students are preyed upon by the adults who are supposed to be protecting them. According to the Innocent Lives Foundation, nearly 1 in 10 children experiences sexual misconduct by a school official before graduating high school. Teachers are most likely to prey on students that appear needy or have an unhappy home life. It is common for teachers to “groom” students for sexual abuse. Grooming can take many different forms.

  • The teacher may shower the student with gifts or affection.
  • The teacher may act as a caretaker for the student. 
  • The teacher may engage in emotional bonding or trust building. 
  • The teacher may exploit the student’s sexual curiosity or uncertainty. 

It is illegal for teachers to engage in sexual conduct with minor students. It does not matter whether the student offered their “consent.” Under California Government Code section 815.2, a public entity such as a school district can be liable for an act or omission of an employee of the public entity working within the scope of his or her employment. Schools must supervise students and enforce the rules and regulations necessary for the protection of students. When a school fails to properly supervise students, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. 

A school district could also be liable for the sexual assault of a child which was brought about by a school’s negligent hiring or training of a school employee. Schools have a legal obligation to do a background check on teachers and other people employed by the school. As outlined in Virginia G. v. ABC Unified School District (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 1848, schools can be liable for the sexual assault of a child by a teacher if supervisors knew (or should have known) about that teacher’s history of sexual misconduct with students. Moreover, California Code of Regulations, title 5, §§5551 and 5552 requires that schools properly train all of their staff. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any instance of school sexual abuse. 

  • Any instance of sexual abuse should be reported to the police. 
  • Photos, text messages or videos that point to the sexual abuse should be preserved. 
  • Medical records should also be preserved. 
  • A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted. 

It can be difficult to know where to begin after any instance of sexual abuse by a teacher. But it is important for victims to remember that they do have rights. They are able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim. A civil claim can help a victim recover many of the expenses that can come with sexual assault. It is very common for victims of sexual assault to suffer long term negative health outcomes such as PTSD. They are also more likely to suffer from suicidal ideations. A Los Angeles sexual assault attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A Los Angeles Unified School District Sexual Assault

We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our thoughts and prayers to all of the people who may have been victims of Richard Turner. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of all of the victims. In particular, how much did school officials know about what was going on?

Have you or someone that you care about been the victim of sexual abuse in the Los Angeles Unified School District? You may have legal recourse. Our team of sexual abuse attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that abuse victims are aware of their rights and that their abusers are held accountable for their criminal behavior. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about pursuing any legal claim, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at  626-799-9375Se habla español.

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