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Woman sues LAUSD over alleged sexual abuse by former elementary teacher

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ABC7
ABC7
 24 days ago

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A second woman is suing the Los Angeles Unified School District, alleging she was sexually abused by a teacher from 1989 to 1991 when she was in elementary school.

Attorneys for the woman filed the civil lawsuit against LAUSD, claiming the district was negligent in hiring and supervising Louis Moreno, a teacher at the elementary school at the time. Moreno pleaded guilty in 1993 to 11 counts of sexual battery against minors under 14 years of age.

The alleged victim says she was one of many students who suffered sexual abuse as a child while she attended 96th Street Elementary.

The woman -- identified only as Jane G.D. Doe -- is suing the district for negligent hiring and supervision of Moreno, alleging that the LAUSD knew Moreno was a danger to young students at 96th Street Elementary yet allowed him to continue teaching, attorneys said Saturday.

The complaint alleges that Moreno was arrested in October 1991 and later charged with 36 counts of felony child molestation involving 16 minor victims, and pleaded guilty in January 1993 to 11 counts of sexual battery against minors under 14.

Attorneys for the woman say even though she was sexually abused as an elementary school student some three decades ago, she's found the courage to speak up and seek legal action against the school district.

The woman's attorneys added she's not alone.

"As of now there are three total that have filed a lawsuit, but only more will come against the L.A. Unified School District for what happened to them in late 80s and early 90s," attorney Michael Carrillo said at a press conference Monday.

A spokesperson for LAUSD issued the following statement:

"We have not been served with a suit, and we do not comment on pending litigation. However, the safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority."

The civil suit doesn't spell out a particular dollar amount in damages. However, attorneys say their biggest priority is insuring the school district does whatever is necessary to insure children are safe from sexual abuse at school.

"These young women who we represent they've gained the courage to come forward after all these years because they know it's right," Carillo said. "They're seeking justice for what happened to them because they want change to come to the L.A. Unified, and it's just not happening."

In January, a 37-year-old woman sued the LAUSD, also claiming that she was sexually molested by Moreno. That plaintiff - identified as Jane M.G. Doe - was in the first grade at 96th Street Elementary School when she met Moreno, who was in his late 40s, the suit states.

He spent an unusual amount of time with the girl and would call her up to his desk and touch her inappropriately, the suit alleges. Moreno also would commit lewd acts when he kept Doe in his classroom during recess, according to the suit, which alleges that the district did nothing to restrict Moreno's interactions with the plaintiff or with other minors.

Her suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages, alleging sexual assault and battery, negligence and negligent supervision of a minor.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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