Mission College $7.6 million rape settlement

Law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard announces that West Valley-Mission Community College District settles for $7.6 million with disabled rape victim

The West Valley- Mission Community College District will pay a disabled rape victim $7.6 million as a result of a lawsuit filed by the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard.

The lawsuit filed in 2020 alleged that district officials failed to protect a now 26-year-old developmentally disabled woman from a known sexual predator.

The alleged predator, Raymond Ruiz, was an instructional aide in the Program for Students with Developmental Disabilities that holds classes at Mission College in Santa Clara.

“In our investigation, we discovered that Raymond Ruiz had sexually assaulted one student and physically assaulted another,” attorney Mark Boskovich said. “However, Ruiz’s wife was a co-director of the developmentally disabled program and covered up his behavior as did other District employees who were aware of Ruiz’s inappropriate sexual misconduct.”

The victim in this case was born with severe cerebral palsy and legal blindness. She has the intelligence of a 13-year-old and is permanently relegated to a wheelchair. Her mother enrolled her in the district program in the summer of 2018.

“The first sexual assault happened on campus in mid-May of 2020 when Ruiz administered alcohol to the young girl in the classroom then took her to an on-campus bathroom where he raped her,” Boskovich said. “The next day, he sexually assaulted her again.”

“We hope that through this lawsuit, the community college district will properly supervise employees in the future and implement programs and procedures for the safe education of students with developmental disabilities,” attorney Robert Allard said.

Research indicates that people with disabilities are sexually assaulted at nearly three times the rate of people without disabilities and 83% of women with disabilities will be sexually assaulted in their lives.

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