School district approves $18.4 million settlement with victims of former L.A. teachers convicted of sexually abusing students

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

School district approves $18.4 million settlement with victims of former L.A. teachers convicted of sexually abusing students

by Sean Emery

The Los Angeles Unified School District has agreed to an $18.4 million settlement with the victims of two former teachers from Pacoima and Wilmington who were convicted of sexually abusing students.

The settlement includes $10 million to five former students of Robert Pimentel and $8.4 million to four former students of Paul Chapel, according to the law firm of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, which specializes in representing victim’s of sexual abuse.

The attorneys for the victims alleged that district officials allowed Pimentel and Chapel to remain in the classroom despite complaints and reports of sexual misconduct.

“They continue to ignore warning signs of sexual abuse, blame child victims for their abuse, and hide the crimes of perpetrators from law enforcement and the public,” said John Manly, lead attorney for the victims included in the settlement. “Sadly, the children most often victimized are those who live in the poorest areas of Los Angeles. LAUSD’s cover-up culture needs to change, or these children will never be protected from sexual abuse at school.”

The civil settlement was approved by the school board on Tuesday, district officials confirmed.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students,” said Barbara Jones, an LAUSD spokeswoman. “We remain vigilant in our efforts to protect them from harm. While these settlements will not excuse the behavior of those who preyed upon these children, we are relieved that we could resolve these matters without putting the children through further litigation.”

Pimentel, a former fourth-grade teacher at George de la Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington was sentenced to 12 years in state prison in 2014 after pleading no contest in a negotiated plea deal to molesting three students and a female relative. At least some of the abuse occurred inside his classroom and involved students in his class.

Chapel, a former teacher at Telfair Elementary School in Pacoima, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 after pleading no contest to committing lewd acts against seven girls and six boys.

All credit goes to Sean Emery
Originally published on

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