Pasadena Unified Hit With $887,416 Judgment Over Employee Conduct

Published : Monday, September 30, 2019 | 4:51 AM

A California Superior Court jury has awarded $887,416 to a young woman who was coerced into an on-campus sexual encounter facilitated by an employee of Pasadena Unified School District.

Pasadena Unified said it had no comment on the verdict. The District has the option to appeal.

The case centers on “A.S.” a 14-year old minor at the time of the occurrence on Jan. 13, 2015.

According to the original complaint, she was pulled from debate class by a security guard at Pasadena High School, led to a locked auditorium and pressured into consensual sex with another student.

A janitor found them and took the pair to the administration office for disciplinary action, according to documents.

According to a summary provided by plaintiff’s attorney, “The male student had made arrangements with the school security officer to get plaintiff out of class and bring plaintiff to him. The school security officer had a reputation for facilitating inappropriate conduct by students.”

The complaint said the girl suffered physical pain, emotional distress, anguish, fear, grief, anxiety, shame, and humiliation. She was forced to change schools and pay for medical expenses and counseling.

Her attorney asserted that she had “lost four years of the important social interactions and maturity which come from having a normal, four-year high school experience.”

Citing the teacher who released the student from class and the security guard who conveyed her to the auditorium, the girl’s attorney charged the Pasadena Unified School District with negligence.

The plaintiff was represented by the law firm of Ivie, McNeil, Wyatt, Purcell, and Diggs.

Keith Wyatt, a director at the firm, said, “the challenge was to have people take the injuries and damages she suffered seriously. I don’t think Pasadena Unified did. And that’s why we couldn’t get the case resolved. They accepted responsibility for what happened, but then it didn’t seem like they wanted to pay much for what had occurred.”

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