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Attorney claims LAUSD cover-up in George De La Torre school sex abuse

February 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
An attorney claims the LAUSD is trying to cover up alleged sex abuse by a teacher at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary.

Former teacher Robert Pimentel was arrested and charged with 15 counts of sexual abuse. Attorney Luis Carrillo represents several of the alleged victims.

"The superintendent and the LAUSD relying on old law, is in my opinion, total dishonesty to continue to cover up abuse of children within the district," said Carillo.

Carrillo says he filed claims against the LAUSD, and the LAUSD sent him a rejection letter claiming they were filed too late. Attorneys say that was based on an old law that has since changed. They feel the LAUSD is simply trying to delay things.

"What the LAUSD has done is they've gone back to the old laws and said, 'Your claim is late.' Which it's not, because we don't have to make a claim under this law, and they should know this law," said attorney John Henrichs.

According to the lawsuit, there were complaints against Pimentel back in 2002, 2008, and 2010. But Carrillo says the school district ignored them.

"Nothing has changed," Carillo said. "The superintendent and the LAUSD are saying that there is a new and reformed LAUSD, but guess what? It's the same old dirty business of before."

The LAUSD issued a statement Friday afternoon which says the letter sent to Carillo rejecting the claims was a mistake.

"The letters received by Mr. Carrillo appear to have been inadvertently sent. We are continuing to review the four claims submitted with the attention they deserve. Our commitment is to work through these allegations in a transparent manner that respects the needs of the children impacted," David Holmquist, LAUSD general counsel, said in the statement.

In the meantime, the LAPD is still investigating the case against Pimentel.


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