Torrance Teen Sues Wrestling Coach for Sexual Abuse

October 17, 2017

A North High School teen who was sexually abused by a former assistant wrestling coach in Torrance has sued the School District, alleging that it didn’t monitor and supervise her abuser. The alleged failure to supervise the coach allowed him to molest the victim at the high school and off campus, the complaint states.

The victim, who is identified only as “Jane RR Doe,” brought a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. The case also includes as plaintiffs her parents, “John J. Doe” and “Mary M. Doe.” The lawsuit names North High School and the former assistant coach, Matthew Bautista, as defendants, along with the school district,

“Before plaintiff was sexually harassed by Bautista, defendants knew that Bautista had engaged in unlawful sexually related conduct with minors in the past, and/or was continuing to engage in such conduct,” the complaint alleges. “The school district intentionally ignored multiple complaints about Bautista that allowed (him) to abuse the minor plaintiff.”

The suit alleges negligence, fraud, sexual harassment, sexual battery, false imprisonment, gender violence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The female victim was abused over an eight-month period in 2016. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Bautista started as a walk-on coach at North High School in Torrance in August 2012.

The 30-year-old Bautista was sentenced in March in Torrance Superior Court to five years of probation and a year of counseling. He pleaded no-contest to a felony count of having unlawful sex with a student. The court also ordered Bautista to stay away from the teen, then 16, and North High School until 2027.

Torrance police arrested Bautista in October 2016.

. . .

Bautista was set free and allowed to go home from jail after spending six months in jail after his arrest last year. In a plea bargain for his no-contest plea to one felony count of unlawful sex with a minor, Bautista—who was facing up to 10 years in prison — received credit for his time in jail and was placed on five years of probation. He was also ordered to undergo sex offender counseling. Bautista wasn’t required to register as a sex offender, but was told to have no contact with the girl for 10 years. The order prohibited Bautista from making any contact with the victim in person or via telephone, email, or social media.

However, after he was released from jail, Bautista immediately began communicated with his victim. As a result, a judge ordered him held back to jail indefinitely for allegedly contacting her.

Bautista entered a not guilty plea on the new charges. His probation on his conviction was revoked. Another judge will set a date for a probation violation hearing.

According to prosecutors, the original plea will remain intact, however, a misdemeanor conviction could reestablish the possibility that he would be required to register as a sex offender if convicted.

Contact The Cifarelli Law Firm, LLP for a Free and Confidential Consultation

Get help from a trusted Orange County child abuse and injury attorney. Contact our office to schedule a confidential and free consultation about your child’s claim with a member of our legal team.

Those in positions of power of authority, like a high school athletic coach, can sometimes prey on the weak and the young. If your child has been the victim of sexual abuse while in the care of another, the Cifarelli Law Firm can help. Our law firm works to defend the rights of children, and we will work tirelessly to protect yours.

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