A 19-year-old woman who was sexually abused over an eight-month period in 2016 by a former assistant wrestling coach at North High School reached a settlement with the Torrance Unified School District Tuesday in her lawsuit that alleged the district failed to monitor and supervise her abuser.
Jane RR Doe’s lawsuit — with her parents as co-plaintiffs — was filed in October 2017 in Los Angeles Superior Court and later transferred to Torrance Superior Court. In addition to the district, the suit named as a defendant the former assistant coach, Matthew Bautista.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a notice of settlement last Thursday with Judge Deirdre Hill, but no terms were divulged. The parents and the district previously reached a separate settlement.
Before she was sexually abused by Bautista, the district knew that he had engaged in unlawful sexually related conduct with other minors in the past, the suit alleged.
“The school district intentionally ignored multiple complaints about Bautista that allowed (him) to abuse the minor plaintiff,” according to the complaint, which said the alleged failure of the district to supervise Bautista allowed him to molest the girl at the high school and off campus.
In their court papers, defense attorneys denied any liability on the district’s part, saying it `had no … notice that Bautista was sexually abusing Jane RR Doe and therefore cannot be liable for Bautista’s alleged illegal acts.”
The suit’s allegations included negligence, fraud, sexual harassment, sexual battery, false imprisonment, gender violence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Bautista, now 33, pleaded no contest to a felony count of having unlawful sex with a student and was sentenced in March 2017 in Torrance Superior Court to five years probation and a year of counseling. He was additionally ordered to stay away from the teen, then 16, and North High until 2027.
Bautista, who became a walk-on coach at North High in August 2012, was arrested by Torrance police in October 2016.
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