A judge Wednesday ordered the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office to turn over part of the police investigative file related to the former athletic director of San Gabriel Mission High School, who allegedly seduced a girl and took her to Nevada in 2016.
Attorney Sonya Ostovar, who represents the young plaintiff in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, said Judge Elizabeth Allen White granted her substantially all the information she sought in her motion regarding the LAPD investigation of Ivan Barajas.
The judge issued her ruling after meeting in her chambers with Ostovar and lawyers for the archdiocese and the City Attorney’s Office. Deputy City Attorney Jeffrey Blumin asked that the meeting be held outside of public view because of the plaintiff’s age.
In response to an October subpoena for the LAPD investigative records from the plaintiff’s lawyers, the City Attorney’s Office responded that they could not be released without a court order.
The subpoena sought all records related to Barajas, now 28, involving “the alleged kidnapping/sexual misconduct” regarding the girl, including the police report, photos, 911 transcripts and arrest records.
“Plaintiff believes that the Los Angeles Police Department’s investigative file contains facts and information that are both discoverable and highly relevant to all of plaintiff’s causes of action in this case and plaintiff has no other means of obtaining this information,” the plaintiff’s court papers stated.
The plaintiff is a Pico Rivera teen who was 15 years old at the time of the alleged abuse and who is identified only as Jane Doe. Barajas was eventually criminally prosecuted in Nevada, according to the suit, which alleges sexual abuse of a minor, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, supervision and retention, and breach of a required duty to report suspected child abuse.
Before Barajas allegedly began abusing the plaintiff, another coach at the school and a parent both expressed concern that he was having inappropriate relationships with underage female students, the suit states.
Despite having such knowledge, the archdiocese and the school administrators did not investigate the claims and allowed Barajas to continue working, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The archdiocese issued a previous statement saying that Barajas — whose wife apparently contacted the LAPD, triggering its investigation — “was immediately suspended and later terminated when the school became aware of the matter.”
“The school and the archdiocese have been cooperating with law enforcement in Los Angeles and Nevada throughout Mr. Barajas’ prosecution,” the statement said. “The safety and well-being of our students is our utmost priority. The archdiocese has strict policies concerning conduct with minors. We offer our prayers for all those impacted by this matter.”
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was a ninth-grader in the second semester of the 2015-16 school year and Barajas was her coach when the alleged inappropriate interaction began.
Barajas gave the girl special attention beginning in February 2016 and began adult-oriented conversations with her, the suit alleges. The next month, he kissed her and his actions progressed to sex acts with the girl at various locations on campus, including his office during school hours, according to the complaint.
During the following summer, Barajas convinced the girl to meet him at the school under the guise of needing help with school matters, the suit alleges. Once there, he had sex with her in the library, faculty lounge and gym, according to the complaint.
In July 2016, Barajas took the girl to Nevada after finding out that his wife had discovered his relationship with the teen, the suit states. He was arrested in Henderson, near Las Vegas, according to the complaint.
San Gabriel Mission High School is an all-girls Catholic college preparatory high school located on the grounds of the San Gabriel Mission.
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