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Los Angeles, CA - UCLA ECE Krieger Center, Childcare Worker, Christopher Rodriguez, Arrested for Alleged Child Sex Abuse

Los Angeles, CA - UCLA ECE Krieger Center, Childcare Worker, Christopher Rodriguez, Arrested for Alleged Sexual Abuse of Child
Published: February 28, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on February 28, 2024

UCLA Child-Care Center Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Sexual Abuse of a Child

The Los Angeles Times reported a teacher at one of UCLA's child-care centers, the UCLA ECE Krieger Center located at Bellagio Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024, has been arrested and booked on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child. The university informed parents of the arrest on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, leaving the community in a state of disbelief and concern. 

The accused, Christopher Rodriguez, was apprehended by the UCLA Police Department following reports from fellow staff members who witnessed "concerning behavior" and "inappropriate contact with a minor student." Rodriguez was an employee of the university's Early Care and Education Department, responsible for providing childcare services to young children of UCLA students, faculty, and staff.

According to Christina Christie, the dean of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, Rodriguez has been booked on five misdemeanor charges, including false imprisonment, battery, willful cruelty to a child, and two counts of sexual battery. The exact details leading to his arrest remain unclear at this time. However, the university confirmed that Rodriguez was placed on administrative leave immediately after being reported by his colleagues and has not returned to the Early Care and Education Department since.

Rodriguez had a long-standing employment history with the department, having worked at the university's Krieger Center from 1999 to 2001, then at the University Village Early Care and Education Center until 2020 when he returned to the Krieger Center until being placed on leave.

UCLA stated that Rodriguez has been on leave since December 18, when the investigation into his alleged actions commenced. It is currently unknown when Rodriguez was taken into custody, and whether formal charges have been filed by prosecutors.

In response to the incident, UCLA has taken immediate measures to ensure the well-being of the children in its care. The university has provided a team of child psychologists to support the affected children, changed the gate codes at the child-care centers, and is conducting refresher workshops for staff members regarding their legal obligations to report suspected abuse or neglect.

Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, UCLA expressed deep concern over the allegations and condemned any form of assault or sexual harassment. The safety and welfare of the children remain the university's top priority.

Parents with children in Rodriguez's class expressed their frustration and concerns during a Zoom meeting on Thursday. They demanded answers regarding the investigation and the possibility of additional victims. However, the university did not provide specific details during the meeting, leading to heightened frustration among parents. One parent expressed that although she noticed instances of neglect by Rodriguez towards the children, she was surprised by the allegations.

UCLA's child-care program has faced criticism from parents in the past. In 2016, there were demands for an investigation and the placement of the program's director on administrative leave over allegations of abrupt teacher transfers without considering the impact on children. Additionally, the UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, previously reported complaints of staff members grabbing children and leaving them unattended in the same year.

As the investigation into Christopher Rodriguez continues, UCLA is urging the community to respect the privacy of the individuals involved. The university remains committed to fostering an open and honest community while ensuring the safety and well-being of its students.

Michael E. Pfau
Hi, I’m attorney Mike Pfau. I’m a lawyer here in California and if you or a loved one were injured in an accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options. Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
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Pursuing Justice for Victims of Child-Care Abuse

As the recent arrest of a teacher at a UCLA child-care center sends shockwaves through the community, we reached out to prominent California sexual abuse lawyer Mike Pfau, to shed light on what victims of sex abuse at child-care centers can do to pursue civil cases against liable parties.  Pfau highlights the process and significance of contacting an experienced sexual abuse lawyer to learn more about your potential lawsuit.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Pfau. Given the recent arrest at UCLA's child-care center, could you provide some insight into what victims of child abuse in such settings can do from a legal standpoint?

Mike Pfau, Esq. (MP): Of course, Darla. It's important for victims to know that they have legal options to seek justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered. In cases of child abuse at child-care centers and daycares, victims and their families can pursue civil lawsuits against the liable parties, including the institution, administrators, and even individual staff members involved.

DM: How does a civil case differ from any criminal charges brought against the perpetrator?

MP: While criminal charges focus on punishing the offender, a civil case allows victims to seek financial compensation for the damages they have endured. This can include medical expenses, therapy costs, pain and suffering, and other related losses. Moreover, a civil case can bring attention to any institutional negligence or failure to protect the children, helping to prevent similar incidents in the future.

DM: What steps should victims take if they want to pursue a civil case?

MP: The first step is to consult with an experienced child abuse attorney who specializes in these types of cases. They can guide victims through the legal process, provide support, and advocate for their rights. It's crucial to gather any evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, or any documentation that can support the claims of abuse. The attorney will then help file the lawsuit and navigate the complexities of the legal system.

DM: Are there any time limits for filing a civil case in child abuse situations?

MP: Yes, there are statutes of limitations that vary by state. In California, for example, victims generally have until their 26th birthday to file a civil lawsuit for childhood sexual abuse. However, it's important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible, as there may be exceptions to these limitations, especially for cases involving child-care centers or institutional liability.

DM: Thank you, Mr. Pfau, for sharing this valuable information with our readers during this difficult time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

MP: It's essential for victims to remember that they are not alone, and support is available. By taking legal action, they can hold the responsible parties accountable and potentially prevent further harm to others. If you or someone you know has been a victim of child abuse, I strongly encourage reaching out to a qualified attorney who can help navigate the legal process and fight for justice.

Sources:

Los Angeles Times

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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: darla@eaglepeakmarketing.com This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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