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Victims Sue Hesperia Unified School District Over Janitor's Sexual abuse of Six-Year-Old Boys

HESPERIA, Calif. February 8, 2019. Three six-year-old victims of daily sexual abuse at the hands of a Maple Elementary School janitor filed a lawsuit today in San Bernardino County Superior Court, naming HESPERIA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT and the janitor, PEDRO MARTINEZ, as defendants. HESPERIA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT was served with the lawsuit today.

This lawsuit alleges that on a daily basis over the course of at least 5-6 months, MARTINEZ would lure the first-grade boys into empty classrooms and bathrooms at the school and subject them to unlawful sexual abuse and physical battery. These acts of abuse by MARTINEZ included sodomy, forced oral copulation by subterfuge, physical beatings, making the students watch videos of him perform sexual acts on other children, and forcing the young boys to physically fight with each other while he watched.

The lawsuit alleges that HESPERIA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT enabled MARTINEZ’s behavior, making the district equally liable.

The lawsuit further alleges that HESPERIA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT had knowledge of MARTINEZ’s unfitness to continue in his employment at the elementary school. In addition, the district failed to adequately supervise the students, the janitor, and the classroom usage, in conscious disregard of the rights and safety of students at the school.

Plaintiffs’ lawsuit seeks recovery of general damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees pursuant to statute.

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"On a daily basis, we entrust our most precious resource--our children--to our schools with the expectation that they will be supervised and kept safe. The Hesperia Unified School District failed miserably in the discharge of its duty to do so. More could have been done, and indeed should have been done, to spare these children from their victimization. Willful indifference across multiple levels of the District enabled our clients to be savagely abused. Just as the perpetrator of these heinous acts must face justice, so too, must the school district."

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