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Claremont Student Sues for Sexual Abuse by School Cafeteria Worker

April 19, 2017

A former student of the Claremont Unified School District has brought a lawsuit against the District and a female former cafeteria worker claiming that the employee sexually abused him when he was 16.

The plaintiff, who is now 19, is known only as “John SE Doe” in in the LA Superior Court lawsuit. He’s seeking an unspecified amount of damages from the school district and Vanessa Antonia Tinoco of Pomona, the cafeteria worker. The lawsuit alleges negligence, sexual harassment, assault and battery, gender violence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiff met Tinoco in January 2014 when she supervised him in a special education program. John helped with the preparation of lunches at Claremont High School. The complaint says that Tinoco deliberately targeted the boy after determining that he would be vulnerable to her sexual predation. The cafeteria worker discussed her marriage and children with the student, sent him graphic photos of herself, and subsequently engaged in sexual activity with him. Some of the sex was even on campus, the suit claims.

The complaint also alleges that her relationship with the student wasn’t a secret and that other cafeteria employees joined Tinoco and the plaintiff at various activities off campus. She regularly drove him to and from school, and they walked together to her car parked in the staff parking lot in front of the administrative offices.

Tinoco was arrested by the Claremont Police in October 2014. The then 33-year-old resigned from the district in early 2015. She plead no contest to unlawful sexual intercourse in a plea bargain with the District Attorney’s Office. Tinoco was sentenced to three years of formal probation and a year in jail by the Pomona Superior Court. She must also register as a sex offender.

Teachers and those in authority, such as school cafeteria workers and other school employees, can use their power to hurt our children. 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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