Opening statements read in LAUSD sex abuse case

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Opening statements were read Wednesday in a trial accusing the Los Angeles Unified School District of concealing sexual abuse at an elementary school. (KABC)

Opening statements were read Wednesday in a trial accusing the Los Angeles Unified School District of concealing sexual abuse at an elementary school.

The first witness to take the stand in the trial was former El Sereno Elementary School principal Alice Ballard-Treptow. She testified she reported former school teacher Armando Gonzalez to police in March of 2010, when a student told her Gonzalez had kissed her on the mouth one year earlier.

Ballard-Treptow said the student, who was about 8 years old when the incident happened, told her she was scared to tell the principal what had happened.

The plaintiff's attorney repeatedly questioned the principal about earlier reports of inappropriate behavior by Gonzalez in 2003, 2005 and 2008. Some of those allegations include that Gonzalez was touching students' shoulders, asking them to sit on his lap, grabbing their waste from behind and encouraging students to "hug him like they mean it."

Gonzalez was arrested by police at the time. He was booked for sexual battery and lewd acts with children but those charges were later dropped by the District Attorney.

Next, jurors are expected to hear from the former assistant principal. The entire trial is expected to run through mid-June.

Related Topics:
newseducationlausdsex crimessex abusesex abuse against childrenLos Angeles
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