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Author Topic: Ex-L.A. Unified teacher Paul Chapel gets 25 years for molesting 13 students  (Read 2089 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: September 23, 2012, 11:03:46 AM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/teacher-sentenced-molestation.html
Ex-L.A. Unified teacher gets 25 years for molesting 13 students
September 20, 2012

A former teacher at a Pacoima elementary school who continued to work in Los Angeles Unified schools despite several red flags was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison after admitting to molesting 13 students.
 ::snipping2::
Chapel pleaded no contest last month to 13 counts of lewd acts on a child. The children were between the ages of 8 and 9.

He was initially charged in October 2011 with molesting four children, and in May prosecutors filled additional charges involving nine children.

Chapel had continued to work in the L.A. Unified School District despite several red flags in his past. He was tried but not convicted in a 1997 alleged molestation and had previously left a private school after allegedly making inappropriate remarks during a sex-education class.

Chapel was most recently at Telfair in Pacoima, but parents were not informed of his alleged past conduct.

His case shares key similarities with that of former Miramonte Elementary teacher Mark Berndt, whose arrest triggered intense scrutiny over the school district's handling of sexual misconduct allegations against employees. Berndt allegedly spoon-fed his semen to blindfolded students as part of what he described as a "tasting game."
Berndt's personnel files contained no records of earlier, unrelated sexual misconduct allegations, which were never proved. Chapel's records also are incomplete, as was the school district's response after the 1997 allegations. L.A. Unified has no record that it ever conducted an internal investigation.

District officials said the reason may be that the incident occurred off-campus. Without a criminal conviction, the district did not automatically examine matters that took place off school grounds. In the 1997 incident, Chapel was accused of molesting an 8-year-old neighbor who was sleeping at his house.

The school district suspended Chapel without pay from Andasol Avenue Elementary in Northridge, where he had worked for about a decade. The molestation case went to trial, but a jury did not reach a verdict and prosecutors opted not to retry the case.
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MuffyBee
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 11:07:47 AM »

http://**/ci_21592025/ex-lausd-teacher-paul-chapel-gets-25-years?source=most_viewed
Ex-LAUSD teacher Paul Chapel gets 25 years for molesting 13 students at Pacoima's Telfair Elementary
September 20, 2012

 
 ::snipping2::
Chapel, of Chatsworth, pleaded no contest last month to committing lewd acts against seven girls and six boys. In exchange for a 25-year sentence, prosecutors dropped 15 additional counts that could have sent him to prison for life.
 ::snipping2::
Prosecutors have declined to detail the accusations against Chapel. However, the lawsuit said he forced the girls to sit on his lap while he kissed and fondled them and touched their genitals.

"Los Angeles Unified was supposed to be supervising this man and these children, and they didn't," attorney Thomas Cifarelli, who filed the civil suit, said in a phone interview Thursday. "With his background, he should never have been in the classroom in the first place, with access to children."

Los Angeles Unified denied the plaintiffs' allegations in a response filed last month.

Chapel was hired by LAUSD in 1988, just a few months after he was asked to leave his teaching job at Chaminade High School. Two sisters filed
Paul Chapel, left, the former LAUSD third-grade teacher who pleaded no-contest to molesting 13 children at Telfair Elementary School, listens to defense attorney Jeff Weiss during his sentencing at the San Fernando Courthouse on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. Chapel was sentenced to 25 years in prison. (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer)
a lawsuit claiming Chapel had made inappropriate sexual comments during a biology class, and the private school paid $56,000 to settle the case.

Then in 1998, he was charged with molesting an 8-year-old family friend during a sleepover at his home in Simi Valley, where he was living at the time. Chapel had been teaching at Andasol Elementary in Northridge, but was reassigned to Telfair when that trial ended in a hung jury.

Chapel was in his 13th year at Telfair when he was arrested last October and his teaching credential was suspended. However, the school district failed to notify parents until the Daily News reported his arrest in February. Chapel was fired the next month.

His no-contest plea - the equivalent of a guilty plea in a criminal case - came last month as his young accusers were set to testify against him in a preliminary hearing.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 08:06:52 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-l.a.-school-abuse-settlements-20160516-snap-story.html
L.A. school district reaches $88-million settlement in sex misconduct cases at two campuses
May 16, 2016

The Los Angeles school district will pay $88 million to settle sexual abuse cases at two elementary schools where complaints about the teachers behavior had surfaced long before their arrest, officials confirmed Monday.

The settlement with 30 children and their families, finalized over the weekend, is the second largest in district history, and brings a dark chapter to an apparent close.

The cases at De La Torre Elementary in Wilmington and Telfair Avenue Elementary in Pacoima, emerged in the aftermath of better-known sexual misconduct at Miramonte Elementary, south of downtown. Altogether, a spate of prosecutions and lawsuits led to huge settlements and spurred the district to announce a raft of reforms at the nation's second-largest school system.
 
The De La Torre litigation encompassed 18 children and 19 of their parents (who sued separately). The Telfair settlement involved 12 minors. The agreement provides for a process to distribute the money fairly, but the average payout will be about about $3 million per family, including sums that two of the Telfair students won through a jury verdict last year.

The two schools are at opposite ends of the sprawling school system -- Telfair in the north, De La Torre in the south. And Miramonte was miles from both. All three schools served predominantly low-income communities and involved veteran teachers who had been relatively popular, but whose conduct had raised questions in the past.

Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt attracted the most media attention after his 2012 arrest because of the bizarre forms of abuse into which he lured dozens of students. The payouts eventually totaled $175 million. Berndt is serving a 25-year sentence for committing lewd acts.

The district's reputation continued to be battered as details emerged about other accused predators. At the time, Telfair teacher Paul Chapel III already was facing sex abuse charges.

L.A. Unified had no record that it ever conducted an internal investigation about him despite his dismissal from a previous job at a private school and his later trial -- Chapel was not convicted -- on allegations that he abused a boy. District officials said that the earlier incidents did not involve conduct at an L.A. Unified school, which may have limited their attention to the matter at the time.

But court documents allege that there also were concerns at his L.A. Unified workplace. Teachers at his first district school, Andasol Elementary in Northridge, warned that Chapel was placing children in his lap, attempting to take them on unauthorized field trips and closing his classroom door with students inside during lunch and recess.

In March 2011, a parent complained to an administrator that Chapel would kiss boys and girls in class. Several children confirmed the allegations, but even at that point, Chapel remained in the classroom for six more weeks, according to court documents.

Questions about Chapel's subsequent quiet removal led to a specific change in district policy: Families are now supposed to be notified when an investigation of a teacher involves alleged sexual misconduct.


In all, Chapel sexually abused a dozen students over a decade, including acts such as kissing boys on their genitals. He is serving a 25-year sentence after a no-contest plea.

 
Robert Pimentel's case also involves a long chain of accusations that led to little or no action, according to court documents filed by the plaintiffs.
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  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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