The Covina Valley Unified School District was sued Tuesday by a former student, who alleges she was molested by her history teacher at Northview High School, often in his classroom, beginning nearly a decade ago.
The teacher allegedly began kissing the teen and two months later was having sex with her, doing so more than 20 times in his classroom during and after school hours, the suit alleges. The teacher was 31 years old at the time and the girl was a 16-year-old virgin, according to her court papers.
The plaintiff in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit is now 25 years old and is identified in the complaint only as Jane Doe. The suit names teacher Jason Van Duyne and alleges sexual abuse of a minor, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment and negligence. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages.
Robert McEntire, the CVUSD’s chief business officer, issued a statement saying the district “is presently investigating the allegations in the suit, but cannot respond to open litigation.”
Van Duyne no longer teachers in the district, having departed for California High School in Whittier in the 2008-09 school year, according to the plaintiff’s court papers.
However, a woman who answered the phone at California High said Van Duyne had left that school, as well.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was a student of Van Duyne’s at Northview High in the 2007-08 school year. He began “grooming” her by giving her special attention and inviting her to spend time alone with him in his classroom, then escalated his behavior by sending her sexually explicit messages and engaging her in “adult-type conversations,” the suit alleges.
CVUSD administrators expressed concern to Jane Doe and Van Duyne about the time they were spending together, but did nothing more to investigate their relationship, according to the suit.
Though Van Duyne left the CVUSD in June 2008 and began teaching at California High, part of the Whittier Union High School District, he continued having sex with the plaintiff, then 17, the suit alleges.
Van Duyne showed up uninvited at her prom and high school graduation in 2010, according to the lawsuit, which alleges their relationship continued after she enrolled at UC Santa Barbara.
Through December 2013, Van Duyne, a married father of two children who by this time was in his mid-30s, continued to have sex with her at hotels and at his family restaurant in Whittier, the suit alleges.
The plaintiff did not realize until last November that what Van Duyne allegedly did to her was wrong and amounted to sexual abuse, according to her court papers.
–City News Service
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