Hesperia School Janitor Charged with Sexual Abuse
A janitor at Maple Elementary School in Hesperia was arrested on January 22 and charged with sexually abusing a boy at the school. Authorities also charged the janitor, 45-year-old Pedro Martinez, with an additional count involving a second victim when he appeared in court on January 25.
According to the authorities, both of the victims are boys under 10 years of age. Officials also believe that there may be additional victims. Martinez has worked at Maple Elementary since 2005.
Martinez has been charged with five felony counts involving two boys under the age of 10, including charges of lewd acts on a child, sodomy, oral copulation, and kidnapping. His bail has been set at $1 million.
He is accused of taking boys into a classroom during the school’s lunch break and abusing them there – sometimes in groups. This abuse allegedly went on for several months. He is also accused of physically abusing the victims.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Sex Abuse by School Employees
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com represents sexual abuse survivors and their family in civil lawsuits, helping them find the answers and financial compensation they deserve. Here is some insight from Brian on the legal options available to survivors of sexual abuse by school employees:
While many of us grew up being warned of “stranger danger”, the sad reality is that many sexual predators are people who are trusted and who regularly interact with children in their daily life. We regularly see this in cases involving abusers who work in education, medicine, religion, and other fields that involve positions of trust and authority. This is why it’s absolutely critical that our schools take preventative measures to ensure that kids are safe from the threat of sexual predators.
For example, schools must conduct background checks before hiring new employees or allowing anyone to volunteer with the school. This can help ensure that no one with a history of sexual misconduct is permitted to work at the school. Other preventative measures can be taken in order to reduce the risk of abuse, such as forbidding staff members to spend one-on-one unsupervised time with students.
In cases where a school fails to take the necessary precautionary measures for preventing abuse, the school may be considered negligent and held liable for damages if the victims and their parents file a lawsuit.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, we understand the difficult times your family is going through and we want to help. You can learn more about your legal options by contacting one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors attorneys for a free consultation.
Local New Coverage from CBS Los Angeles
Location of Maple Elementary School in Hesperia, CA