SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — It’s something no parent wants to hear: the person entrusted with their child’s safety at school is a accused predator.
But that’s exactly where Fabiola Santana Carrasco found himself in May.
She received the dreaded call from the principal of her daughter’s school, John Adams Elementary School in Santa Ana. Her child’s substitute teacher was arrested.
In an interview, Santana Carrasco said four girls spoke up and said the teacher touched them inappropriately.
Eyewitness News is not naming the man after learning Monday that Orange County prosecutors declined to prosecute him. A spokesman for the DA’s office said prosecutors had dismissed the case because of insufficient evidence.
But two of the girls’ families are taking legal action.
“There is no legal recourse for these four girls – two of the four we represent – other than the lawsuit we are filing,” said attorney Ned Menoyo. “And we’re going to ask a lot of tough questions if this continues — why he was hired, what the school district knew about when they knew about him.”
According to the lawsuit, which was filed with the Santa Ana Unified School District: The deputy, a former teacher who worked in the district for nearly two decades, sexually molested Santana Carrasco’s 9-year-old daughter by throwing his hand over and over rubbing her chest, up and down her back and buttocks, over her clothes – this after the deputy allegedly stared at her bum in an overtly sexual manner.
The student told a lunch lady about the incident and later confirmed it at home with her mother.
Three other girls accused the substitute teacher of sexual harassment on the same day. Administration officials called the Santa Ana police and the teacher was arrested but later placed on bail.
Santana Carrasco said she was angry that “they are releasing a person who is doing harm.”
“And he harms the innocent, steals their innocence,” she said.
A spokesman said the school district would not comment on pending or ongoing litigation.
Santana Carrasco said her daughter is going to a different school now, but she will carry this with her for the rest of her life – and she wants justice.
“We are humble people,” said the mother. “Some think we have no right to complain or to speak up. But we can talk.”
The law firm representing the students’ families is asking anyone who may have similar allegations to contact them immediately.
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https://abc7.com/santa-ana-teacher-girls-students/12300582/ Santa Ana: Families of 2 girls file lawsuit against Santa Ana School District after prosecutors decline to charge teacher accused of molestation