A man is suing the Montebello Unified School District and its superintendent, alleging the schools chief lured him into a sexual relationship earlier this year with promises of money, training and help in getting his U.S. citizenship.
Walther Medina’s Los Angeles Superior Court suit alleges sexual battery, gender violence, civil rights violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. Filed Friday, the complaint seeks unspecified damages and names Superintendent Anthony Martinez as a co-defendant.
An email left with the MUSD law firm of Olivarez, Madruga, Lemieux & O’Neill LLP was not returned. However, in a published interview with the Los Cerritos Community News after a claim was filed in October as a precursor to the lawsuit, attorney Rick Olivarez said Medina was an adult education student, but that it was not clear if he was still enrolled when the alleged harassment occurred.
Olivarez was further quoted in the paper as saying Medina is twice the size and weight of Martinez and that the plaintiff’s allegations are “bogus.”
According to the suit, beginning on or about March, Martinez obtained Medina’s trust through promises of money, education and training. Other enticements included involving Medina in leadership programs and creating a class specifically for Medina, setting up a scholarship in his name and assisting him with getting his U.S. citizenship, the suit states.
Martinez was “secretly planning to exploit the trust … as a means of forcing (Medina) to engage in a sexual relationship in an unlawful quid pro quo,” the suit alleges.
Medina told Martinez that he did not seek a romantic relationship with the him and demanded that the superintendent tell him that he had no such interest in him either, the suit states.
“Martinez fraudulently told (Medina) he did not expect a romantic relationship from Medina,” the suit states.
During the spring and summer, Martinez engaged in inappropriate touching of Medina in the superintendent’s office and in his home, according to the suit. Martinez also sent the plaintiff romantic messages and took photos of him, the suit alleges.
When Medina resisted Martinez’s alleged advances, the schools chief retaliated by showing up at his workplace and discussing the plaintiff’s family and education despite being told not to do so and by repeatedly calling him and sending him text messages, the suit states. The alleged harassment eventually forced Medina to leave the district and end his education, the suit states.
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