LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (KABC) -- A former student at a prep school in La Cañada Flintridge, who says she was sexually abused for years by one of her teachers, is speaking out.
"I was groomed and sexually abused as a child, and my school chose to protect its reputation over my safety," said the former student, who asked not to be identified.
She is suing Flintridge Preparatory School, allegeding one of her former teachers engaged in a years-long relationship with her, leading to sexual improprieties.
"She endured attention from a man twice her age that turned into sexual grooming, harassment, molestation and abuse," said her attorney, Randy Renick.
The alleged abuse began in 2013, and the former student says it stretched into her college years. It only ended when the pandemic struck.
The lawsuit filed last week claims Flintridge Prep knew about the improper relationship between the two but chose to hide it to project its image. It is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.
"Members of the school community expressed concern to one another and even to Flintridge Prep's administration," Renick said. "But Prep's administration failed to stop the grooming and dismissed the complaints."
School officials declined to be interviewed for this story and instead issued the following statement, which reads in part:
"Upon learning of the allegations, Flintridge Prep immediately placed the faculty member on administrative leave and contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. We also conducted a thorough investigation to better understand what occurred. As a result of that investigation, the faculty member's employment was terminated in April."
But for the former student, the action came 10 years too late.
"This teacher groomed me, cultivated a space in which he could manipulate me, isolate me and abuse me. Meanwhile, an entire community watched and did nothing to stop him," the alleged victim said.