Former Sunny Hills High School Band instructor, 33-year-old Anthony Morales, was charged with six counts of sexual assault, according to The Patch in 2013. The charges include two of sexual penetration by a foreign object, two counts of oral copulation of an unconscious person, one of oral copulation of a person under the age of 18, and one of sodomy of an unconscious person.
Morales taught or volunteered in the Los Angeles and Orange County area for 13 years. Since 1998, Morales worked at Diamond Bar High, Diamond Ranch High, and Sunny Hills High. His charges result from his alleged abuse of his 16-year-old female student at Sunny Hills High School. Detectives are asking possible additional victims to come forward.
Attorney contributor and sexual abuse lawyer Bobby Thompson represents victims that were sexually abused in civil lawsuits. In an interview, Bobby shared his thoughts regarding the legal rights of victims sexually abused by teachers.
We asked: do schools and administrators have a legal obligation to protect their students? Bobby answered, “In education, schools and administrators have a legal duty to protect their students and provide a safe environment.” He further noted, “sadly, sometimes sexual predators are found working in schools with children. However, schools, administrations, and employees must protect their students from predators.”
Later, Bobby shared insight on whether a school could be sued when a teacher is charged with sexual abuse. Bobby stated, “we must ask if the school did their best to prevent the abuse in question. Some sexual abuse cases transpire as a result of school negligence.” An example of negligence would be allowing a teacher to continue working despite previously filed sexual misconduct complaints. In such cases of negligence by a school, the victim of sexual abuse may have grounds for a lawsuit.