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San Diego Elementary School Teacher Arrested For Alleged Sexual Abuse of Child

San Diego Elementary School ‘Teacher of The Year’ At  Jacqueline Ma Arrested For Alleged Sexual Abuse of Child At Lincoln Acres Elementary School

Child abuse

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (March 10, 2023) – A school teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary School in San Diego identified as Jacqueline Ma was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a child under the age of 14. 

San Diego County officials are saying that the teacher was arrested on Tuesday at Lincoln Acres Elementary School. Jacqueline Ma is facing six counts of sexual misconduct, including three charges of oral copulation with a child under the age of 14. 

Police believe that only one child was victimized. The charges left many people in the community stunned because Jacqueline Ma was previously awarded teacher of the year for 2022. 

She has since been booked at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility and is being held on a $100,000 bond. A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time. 

Liability For San Diego School Sexual Abuse

The profile of sexual abusers is typically very different from what most people would imagine. Most people imagine teachers who abuse children as being ‘creepy’ or dysfunctional. But, as it turns out, the opposite is usually true. Teachers who have sexually abused children tend to be well-regarded among their peers. They often have accolades for being exceptional teachers. Sexual abusers usually target students with low self-confidence and who are socially isolated. There are many strategies that teachers might use to groom children. 

  • Teachers may form a care-taking role. 
  • Teachers may gain the trust of the parents of the child.
  • Teachers may shower the child with gifts. 
  • Teachers may desensitize the child to sex. 

It is illegal for any teacher to have a sexual relationship with a minor student. 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. According to California Penal Code 287, it is a crime to perform oral copulation with a minor under 18 years of age. Teachers are mandated reporters and have to alert authorities to any reasonably suspected instance of child sexual abuse. 

A school district could potentially face civil liability if a student in their care is sexually assaulted. Schools must properly monitor the students in their care to protect them from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. 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 several steps that schools can take to prevent sexual abuse. 

  • Schools should thoroughly vet prospective teachers and other school employees.
  • Schools should thoroughly investigate any suspected instance of sexual abuse. 
  • Schools should adopt and promulgate a code of conduct regarding sexual abuse. 

Sexual abuse can be one of the most destructive things that children can go through. The family of any child that has been sexually abused by a teacher may have legal recourse through a civil claim. Unfortunately, school districts will often do everything in their power to deny responsibility if any child is sexually abused in their care. This is why it is so important that all evidence is properly preserved after any suspected instance of sexual abuse. 

Investigating San Diego Elementary School Sexual Abuse

We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP were deeply concerned to learn about this suspected instance of sexual abuse at  Lincoln Acres Elementary School in San Diego. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to the San Diego Police Department. It is our sincere hope that measures are put in place to prevent this from happening again. 

Have you or someone that you care about been the victim of school sexual abuse in San Diego County? Our team of sexual abuse attorneys are here for you. 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 assistance we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.

Author

MICHAEL S. CARRILLO, Partner

Michael works on high-profile cases that have garnered national media attention. His practice today focuses on child sexual abuse cases, police misconduct cases, catastrophic injuries and other wrongful death matters. He is a passionate advocate for his clients including the countless child sexual abuse victims he currently represents.