Los Angeles

Lawsuit Filed Over Teacher Sex Abuse Case in El Monte

A mother claims in a lawsuit that a local school district and administrators failed to protect her then 15-year-old daughter from the abuse of a teacher.

She says they knew the teacher had faced similar allegations years before and was still allowed in the classroom. The abuse began in 2014 and spanned into the following year, the abuse at times happened in the former teacher's own classroom, according to the lawsuit.

"It's been the hardest thing we have ever had to go through," the mother said in an exclusive interview with the NBC4 I-Team. "The teacher had told her that I would not believe her, that I would disown her. "All I could do is hold her and tell her that I believed her."

In 2016, Richard Paul Daniels was sentenced to three years in prison for what happened to her daughter. But the former science teacher had an alleged past. This mother is suing the El Monte Union High School District and administrators at Arroyo High School.

"I felt really angry and I felt really upset," she said.

According to the complaint, Daniels had been charged with molestation and lewd acts against a child more than decade earlier when he was a teacher at another high school in the same district.

Court records show the teacher was found guilty of battery in that case and was ordered to stay away from four girls and that high school.

Attorney Michael Carrillo compares what happened with his clients to how the Catholic Church handled some abuse cases.

"The school district knew that Mr. Daniels was touching little girls," Carrillo said. "They could have easily fired him. They didn't. They transferred him to another school just like the clergy did in all of those cases."

The district declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

"We don't want anyone else to go through what we went through," the mother said.

The teacher in this case must now register as a lifetime sex offender. Since 2016, at least three employees, including a wrestling coach, from the district have been convicted of sexual misconduct with students.

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