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Martinsburg, WV - Former Seventh-day Adventist Private School Teacher, Jorge William Mendoza, Charged 3rd Degree Sexual Assault

Martinsburg, WV - Former Seventh-day Adventist Private School Teacher, Jorge William Mendoza, Charged 3rd Degree Sexual Assault
Published: February 27, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on February 27, 2024

Former WV Adventist Private School Teacher Charged with Sex-Related Offenses 

WV News reported that a former middle school teacher at Rocky Knoll School, located at 52 Advent Dr, Martinsburg, WV 25403, has been charged with multiple sex-related offenses involving a former student. Jorge William Mendoza, 29, is facing charges of third-degree sexual assault, sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust, and solicitation of a minor by computer. Mendoza, who was terminated from his teaching position in October 2023, now finds himself at the center of a harrowing investigation.

The West Virginia State Police initiated the investigation on October 1, 2023, after receiving information about alleged crimes committed against a 14-year-old girl. According to the victim's statement, she had engaged in messaging exchanges with Mendoza on social media apps. Initially, Mendoza had been friendly to her while she was in 7th grade and he was her teacher. However, things took a dark turn during her 8th grade year when Mendoza allegedly kissed her at school, leading to an ongoing exchange of messages. Disturbingly, in August, Mendoza was accused of entering the victim's home while her parents were away and engaging in sexual activity. It was reported that he later returned with Plan B emergency contraception for her to take.

Crucial evidence in this case includes preserved messages on Discord, which investigators believe will play a pivotal role in the proceedings. Furthermore, a message from Mendoza's wife, confronting the victim about her relationship with her former teacher, has been presented to the police. On October 4, during a conversation between the investigator and the victim, the victim's father went to Mendoza's residence to confront him, resulting in a Berkeley County sheriff's deputy being called to the scene. The deputy seized Mendoza's cell phone, and subsequently, search warrants were issued for other devices as part of the ongoing investigation. The Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has provided an indictment pertaining to one victim in this case.

Rocky Knoll School has released a statement acknowledging the allegations and confirming that Mendoza's employment was terminated following allegations of inappropriate contact with two minors associated with the school. The administration promptly reported the allegations to the authorities as soon as they became aware of them. Prior to his termination, Mendoza had been suspended from his teaching position and was prohibited from contacting students or being on school property.

The school is cooperating closely with law enforcement as the investigation continues, emphasizing the safety and well-being of its students as its top priorities. Crisis counselors will be available for students and staff when school resumes, providing much-needed support during this challenging time. The school has made it clear that any behavior endangering its students will not be tolerated.

The West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit is currently investigating the case, with Mendoza potentially facing severe legal consequences if found guilty of the charges against him. As the investigation unfolds, the community awaits justice for the victim and a thorough examination of the alleged misconduct committed by a former trusted educator.

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Seeking Justice for Victims of Private School Teacher Abuse

In the aftermath of the recent charges brought against the former private school teacher, understanding the victim's rights is paramount. To learn more, we sat down with West Virginia child sexual abuse lawyer, Paul Bucci. He discussed the legal options available for school abuse victims and their families to seek justice and hold liable parties accountable. Discover the invaluable insights shared by Attorney Bucci as he sheds light on civil cases, statutes of limitations, and the importance of supporting victims in their pursuit of justice.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for being here, Paul.

Attorney Paul Bucci (PB): Thank you, Darla. It's a pleasure to be here.

DM: Given the recent disturbing case involving a former middle school teacher in West Virginia, I think it's important to discuss what options victims of abuse at the hands of a private school teacher have when it comes to pursuing civil cases against liable parties. Could you shed some light on this matter?

PB: Absolutely, Darla. In cases like these, victims may have the opportunity to pursue civil litigation against various parties who may be held responsible for the abuse. Typically, the liable parties may include the individual teacher, the school administration, and even the school itself, depending on the circumstances.

DM: That's interesting. Could you explain how a victim can establish liability on the part of the school or its administration?

PB: Certainly, Darla. To establish liability, we must demonstrate that the school or its administration knew or should have known about the abusive behavior and failed to take adequate measures to prevent it or protect the students. This can include situations where there were prior complaints or red flags about the teacher's behavior that were disregarded or not properly addressed by the school.

DM: And what about the individual teacher? How can victims hold them accountable?

PB: Victims can pursue legal action against the individual teacher, seeking compensation for the harm they have endured. In these cases, evidence such as preserved messages, witness testimonies, and any other relevant documentation can be crucial in establishing the teacher's misconduct and the impact it had on the victim's life.

DM: It's essential for victims to understand their rights and options. Are there any limitations or statutes of limitations they should be aware of when it comes to filing a civil case?

PB: Absolutely, Darla. Each state has specific statutes of limitations that determine the timeframe within which victims can file a civil lawsuit. It is crucial for victims to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure they understand the applicable laws and take appropriate legal action within the given timeframe.

DM: Thank you for sharing your insights, Paul. This information is invaluable for victims who may be seeking justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered.

PB: It was my pleasure, Darla. I hope this discussion helps shed light on the available options for victims of abuse at the hands of private school teachers. It's important for them to know that they have legal recourse and support available to them.


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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: 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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