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Riverside County Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Desert Sands Unified School District

December 31, 1969

The family of 17-year-old girl is suing the Desert Sands Unified School District because one of its teachers allegedly sexually assaulted her twice. The Riverside County personal injury complaint blames the district for negligent supervision and hiring. Also named as defendants are ex- La Quinta High School teacher David Armenta, who is accused of the sexual abuse, and up to 100 unknown persons.

The girl's family believes that the district should have known about Armenta's allegedly inappropriate behavior. In their Riverside County sex abuse lawsuit, they say that from November 2010 through February 2011, Armenta paid the teenager "excessive attention" that included inappropriate comments, text messages, physical contact, and invitations to his residence. He also would call the girl in to the classroom where they would be alone for extended periods of time. Per the plaintiffs, other school staff noticed the teacher and student alone in the classroom but did not look into the matter.

The Riverside County injuries to a minor suit argues that the school district hadn't implemented any reasonable/appropriate safeguards to prevent the sexual assault of students by teachers from happening. Armenta, who was arrested eight months ago, has pleaded not guilty to the felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and oral copulation against a minor.

School districts can be held liable for sexual abuse, assault, and molestation crimes committed by its employees on students. Teachers hold a position of authority over their students and it is their responsibility to properly supervise them and not take advantage of that power.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse by teachers does happen. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 6-10% of public school kids have been sexually harassed or abused by teachers or school employees. Child sexual abuse and assault also has been known to take place at private schools. In 2007, the AP reported that between 2001 and 2005, 2,570 educators had their teaching credentials denied, sanctioned, surrendered, or revoked because of sexual misconduct allegations. In at least 1,801 of the alleged cases, young people were the victims (over 80% were students). Obviously, it is important to note that there are many teachers in this country that are devoted to their job and would never intentionally harm their students.

Even if a minor consents to the sexual relationship, it is still against California law for an adult to have sex with a minor.

In what could result in another Riverside County sex abuse case, a Cathedral City woman has pleaded guilty to having sex with a teenager. At the time, Alanna Reichle, 33, was running a recreation league while working as a civilian employee for the Palm Springs Police Department.

Reichle had been charged with one count of oral copulation with a person under 18 and three counts of unlawful sex with a minor. The victim was 16 when alleged sexual abuse happened.

Former Coachella Valley police league leader pleads guilty to sex with minor, MyDesert, October 28, 2011

Suit: District negligent in La Quinta High School teacher sex case, MyDesert, October 10, 2011

La Quinta High School Teacher Pleads 'Not Guilty' To Sex Charges, KESQ, April 6, 2011

Thousands of teachers cited for sex misconduct, USA Today, October 20, 2007

Desert Sands Unified School District


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Costa Mesa Priest Sued for Orange County, California Child Sex Abuse on Trial, California Injury Lawyers, June 16, 2011

Mexican Man's Los Angeles Sex Abuse Lawsuit Accuses Cardinal Roger Mahoney Of Conspiring to Cover Up for Priest, California Injury Lawyers, April 20, 2010