Teacher Accused of Sexually Abusing 20 Students

A Los Angeles Unified School District 4th grade teacher was arrested on Wednesday afternoon for allegedly sexually abusing 20 students along with one adult over the past decade.

57-year-old Robert Pimentel of Newport Beach is being held at the LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center on $12 million bail. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has filed eight counts of sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child against Pimentel. Misdemeanor charges are to be expected as well.

Pimentel was employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1974 until he resigned from his position once the investigation against him commenced.

Complaints from several girls and their parents about Pimentel inappropriately touching them under and over their clothes, lead to the LAPD Juvenile Divisions Sexually Exploited Child Unit to begin their investigation on Pimentel in March of 2012.

Within the past months, the Los Angeles Unified School District has received numerous allegations of sexual misconduct involving teachers and students. A state audit released last November found that Los Angeles school officials failed to promptly report nearly 150 cases of suspected misconduct to state authorities, including allegations of sexual contact with students.

Of the 20 children allegedly abused, 19 were students of Pimentel. The 20th came up while detectives were collecting evidence. The adult was another teacher that had worked with Pimentel.

Upon hearing about the accusations, the teacher’s union of Los Angeles, United Teachers Los Angeles, released a statement, saying “The allegations described are horrific. As teachers we have a duty to uphold the trust our students and their parents place us in.”

Accusations against Pimentel range from September of 2011 to March of 2012. However, during the investigation, detectives found earlier allegations from 2002 and 2008. In the reports, of which were never given to law enforcement officers, Pimentel was again accused of inappropriately touching students. The 2002 incident occurred at Dominguez Elementary and the 2008 incident at George de la Torre Elementary School in Wilmington. Coincidentally, at both schools, the principal at the time of the accusations was Irene Hinojosa.

George de la Torre Junior Elementary School

After the 2002 incident at Dominguez Elementary, Pimentel was then transferred to George de la Torre in 2007, where complaints against him from parents began to turn up the following year.

Magdalena Gonzalez, a parent volunteer for George de la Torre Elementary, complained to Hinojosa about Pimentel. Other volunteers complained to Gonzalez about Pimentel, stating how Pimentel had been caught “playfully spanking” students as well as pulling the bra strap of a student at a 5th grade graduation ceremony.

Gonzalez said that she, along with the other parent volunteers, complained to Hinojosa about Pimentel’s behavior towards students. She said Hinojosa ignored their complaints, and instead allowed Pimentel to stay in classrooms with students despite complaints.

While she was the principal at both schools where Pimentel was accused of sexual abuse, Hinojosa knew about the accusations but repeatedly failed to inform law enforcement authorities of Pimentel’s behavior.

The Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy said in an interview “I am very angry. You tell me you knew about a complaint and you didn’t act on it? You are gone, and if you touch a kid, you are gone. If you know about it and you don’t report it, you are going to lose your job. We are mandated to report it. It is the law.”

Once the school district found out about the allegations, both Pimentel and Hinojosa were removed from their posts. District officials then prepared a “notice of termination” for Pimentel and Hinojosa, but the two retired before the scheduled meeting.

Deasy said both Pimentel and Hinojosa will receive their full pensions, since they retired before the scheduled meeting could occur.

Deasy added, “Can you go back and fire someone who’s already retired? No, you can’t. They both retired on the same day. It’s clear they did it to prevent me from going to the school board.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Juvenile Detective Division at 213-486-0570. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or 800-222-8477

Read More:

CBS News: Robert Pimentel, LA Teacher Accused of Molesting 20 Children, Had Prior Claims Made Against Him

Huffington Post: Robert Pimentel Accused of Past Abuse

Teacher Accused of Sexually Abusing 20 Students was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Los Angeles
Tags: sexual abuse

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