Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse Investigations

It is believed that as early as 2007, Taylor Middle School teacher Matthew Garrett was allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct with students. Law enforcement authorities recently revealed that the accused teacher, Matthew Garrett,  is now facing charges related to these incidents and others, including a student student who alleged that Garrett molested him between November 2021 and March 2022..

The charges against Matthew Garrett have emerged as a result of an extensive investigation carried out by the police. The probe was initiated following reports from victims who have mustered the courage to come forward with their experiences. These brave individuals provided crucial information, leading to the identification of the accused teacher and the subsequent filing of charges.

Call the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard if you are a victim of Matthew Garrett. Protect your rights and allow our attorneys to work for your best interests. 408-289-1417.

A music teacher at Adelante Dual Language Academy, Alum Rock Union School District, is facing multiple sexual abuse charges following his arrest. Israel Santiago, a music teacher, is accused of inappropriately touching at least ten students in the band room. Adelante Dual Language Academy is a transitional kindergarten through 8th grade school in East San Jose.

San Jose police said a similar allegation was made against Santiago in 2014 at another Alum Rock School District school, but no charges were ever filed. Santiago was then moved to Adelante Academy.

This case has many similarities to a case that just resulted in a $102 million jury verdict against the Union School District. In both of these cases, it appears the music instructors were isolated from the rest of the school and lacked proper supervision. And in both cases, it appears that there were several “red flag” warnings that could have stopped the abuse of students.

A recent independent investigation revealed that the U.S. Soccer Federation has been subjecting players to systemic acts of abuse. Following a large-scale investigation with “over 200 players, coaches, owners, and front office staff across former and current USSF personnel and NWSL clubs,” Sally Q. Yates, from the King & Spalding law firm, released a 173-page report that sought to uncover complaints of misconduct, sexual harassment and abuse.

As with previous lawsuits against large sporting organizations, the complaints dealt with players not having their complaints of misconduct taken seriously or ignored. According to the Yates report, several levels of coaches and organizational leaders “created and maintained an environment where “systemic” abuse was allowed to thrive due to a failure to act on player complaints of abuse.” As a result, players of all ages were subjected to various levels of abuse without anyone in the organization willing to help.   

Moving forward, Yates hopes that this will create change within the organization and improve transparency. Yates said, “Our investigation revealed that abuse in the NWSL is not simply about one team, one coach, or one player. It is not even just about the League. Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women’s soccer that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players. The players who have come forward to tell their stories have demonstrated great courage. It’s now time that the institutions that failed them in the past listen to the players and enact the meaningful reform players deserve.” 

The sexual abuse legal team at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard is investigating sexual abuse claims against two Salinas educators. If you are a victim of former Harden Middle School teacher Robert Dunham or John Fickas, call our office. The call is confidential.

Robert Dunham was convicted and sentenced for abusing multiple students. The DA’s office issued a statement following his sentencing, stating that Dunham had a history of inappropriate conduct aimed at students and other minor children with whom he had been trusted.

Fickas is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for raping and sodomizing four girls or women and for oral copulation on a teenage boy he coached at North Salinas High School. Fickas coached the girls’ junior varsity field hockey team and also acted as the varsity shot put coach for the track and field team at North Salinas High School.

In 2020, sexual misconduct claims were reported against a former Thacher School headmaster and two teachers. As a result, the school retained Munger, Tolles & Olson, a Los Angeles law firm, to investigate the claims. The investigation included interviews with over 120 current and former students, parents, faculty, and staff. 

One victim reportedly described being allegedly raped by a teacher in the 1980s when she was 16 years old. The sexual abuse progressed into more violent encounters. 

Another victim reportedly described how a teacher/soccer coach acted inappropriately by creating “an exclusive clique of students with a secret ‘initiation ritual’ that included asking girls embarrassing personal questions about their bodies.” In addition, this same teacher would allegedly give massages to female students while also groping their bodies.

From Sexual Abuse to Sexual Harassment

Throughout the years, the Palo Alto Unified School District has dealt with a number of sexual misconduct issues. It has also been the target of a formal letter of adverse findings by the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights unit.

In 2013, an explosive report by the student journalists described an alleged “rape culture” at Palo Alto High School.

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