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California School District Settles Suit for Sexual Molestation by Teacher

March 31, 2017

A multi-million-dollar settlement was recently reached between a Silicon Valley California school district and the families of three schoolgirls who were molested by a teacher. The $8.25 million settlement against the Morgan Hill Unified School District in was finalized in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The girls were sexually molested over several years by a teacher, John Arthur Loyd. He is currently serving 40 years in prison after pleading no contest to four felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child by force, violence, duress or fear.

The girls’ parents registered complaints concerning Loyd’s behavior to three different school principals between 2009 and 2013. But these complaints were not reported to law enforcement, nor were they placed in the teacher’s personnel file, the lawsuit stated. Four victims between from 9 to 11 years old were molested over 11 years. Just three families were parties to the action because the statute of limitations disqualified one of the cases that occurred in 2005.

“The district was warned that Loyd like to hug his students. They were only girls. And when he did not get enough hugs he would bribe them with candy, telling the girls that he would give them candy only if they gave him a hug,” the lawsuit said.

The school district said in a statement that it is committed to providing additional training for teachers and students on the detection of predatory behavior and sexual abuse.

“We are most concerned for the students who were victims of Mr. Loyd’s despicable and criminal actions,” a statement from the school district said. “The board of trustees and the district staff sincerely hope that the compensation in this settlement provides the students and their families the opportunity for valuable care and support in the future.”

“Although our training of staff and students meets all legal requirements, moving forward, the district has committed to providing additional training for staff and students,” the statement said.

The terms of the settlement stipulate that each family will receive approximately $2.75 million. In addition, the school district was ordered to train its staff on identifying possible predators and providing students with a thorough sexual abuse prevention program.

Teachers and those in authority can use that power to hurt our children, and sexual assault, molestation, and emotional abuse can cause severe and lasting injuries. At the Cifarelli Law Firm, we make it our mission to hold the perpetrators of sexual abuse accountable for their actions, like the teacher and the school district were made to pay in northern California. The compensation we have been able to obtain for our victims will never replace what was lost, but it will help in recovering towards a better life.

Call us today to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your situation with a professional and compassionate Cifarelli Law attorney at (949) 502-8600.

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