According to NBC Los Angeles, an Eleanor Roosevelt High School employee has been charged with sexual assault and other felonies.
The charges of 36-year-old Joe Robles include forcible rape, seven counts of annoying a child under 18 years of age, three counts of unlawful intercourse with a minor, two counts of possession of child pornography, one count of oral copulation of a minor, and one sentence-enhancing allegation of targeting multiple victims in a sex crime.
According to sheriff's Sergeant Ernie Esquibel, Robles had multiple inappropriate relationships with students. The prosecution's criminal complaint lists four girls who were allegedly abused for three years between August 2014 and July 2017.
Robles was taken into custody without a struggle after a warrant was served. In his residence, alleged evidence was seized. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges. Robles has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson, an experienced sex abuse victim lawyer, represents sexual abuse victims in civil lawsuits. We've interviewed Bobby to share his thoughts regarding victims' legal options sexually abused by a school employee.
Bobby emphasized, "schools have a legal duty to provide a safe environment and protect their students. Unfortunately, as we have seen across the country, sexual predators are sometimes found working with children in schools. These predators often use their power and trust as employees to engage with students inappropriately. Schools and administrations must protect students to the best of their ability from sexual predators."
Bobby continued, "victims and their families should first ask if the school did their best to prevent sexual abuse from occurring. If the school did not provide adequate safety measures in place, they might be deemed negligent. Examples of negligence include but at not limited to the following: if complaints about sexual misconduct were reported against a teacher, but the teacher was still permitted to work, or if a teacher was caught on camera acting inappropriately, but the school did not address it. In cases of negligence, a school may be considered liable, and the victim should know they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit and receive compensation for damages."