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Ojai, CA - Former Private School Teacher, Paul Herder, Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse Charges For Years at Oak Grove School

Ojai, CA - Former Private School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse Charges From 2013 to 2017 at Oak Grove School
Published: April 8, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on April 8, 2024

Former CA Private School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing a Student

KTLA reported on a shocking case of child sex abuse that has reached a turning point as the former teacher, Paul Herder, has pleaded guilty to multiple allegations related to his illegal acts with a former student. The 66-year-old suspect was arrested in Hawaii last June following an investigation triggered by the claims made by an adult victim who was his student years ago at the private school, Oak Grove School, located at 220 W Lomita Ave, Ojai, CA 93023.

The unidentified student, who reported Herder to authorities in February 2023, revealed that the abuse had taken place between 2013 and 2017 while she was underage. At the time, Herder was employed as a teacher at Oak Grove School, a private preschool through high school located in Ventura County.

After being located in Pahoa, Hawaii, Herder was apprehended on June 12, 2023, with the assistance of local authorities. He was subsequently extradited back to Ventura County and booked into jail. The Ventura County Sheriff's Office disclosed that Herder had coerced the victim into engaging in numerous sexual acts, sent harmful material to her, and possessed child pornography for personal use. Consequently, Herder faced six felony counts related to sexual abuse, including charges of luring, digital penetration, oral copulation of a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse, and using a minor for sex acts. Furthermore, a special allegation was made against him, asserting that he had exploited a position of trust or confidence to commit these crimes.

In a recent development, Herder has admitted to the crimes and pleaded guilty to all charges, including the special circumstance. Deputy District Attorney Emily Reber expressed relief, stating, "For too long, the defendant had gotten away with the terrible crimes and abuse of trust he perpetrated on the underage victim. She is finally able to secure the justice and accountability that had escaped her for so many years."

Herder is scheduled to appear in court on April 29 for sentencing, where he is expected to receive a prison sentence of six years and eight months. Authorities have also revealed that Herder had an extensive teaching background across various locations in the United States, as well as providing private tutoring services throughout his career. Besides Ojai and Pahoa, it is believed that he has taught in Los Angeles, Tucson, Arizona, Hamden, Connecticut, Bangor, Maine, Chesterfield, England, and undisclosed locations in Thailand and Panama.

During the initial stages of the investigation, the Sheriff's Office cautioned that there may be additional victims who had not yet come forward. As the case progresses, the possibility of uncovering further instances of abuse remains a concern.

The victim in this case has filed a civil complaint against Herder, Oak Grove School, and the Krishnamurti Foundation, which operates the school. The complaint alleges that the school engaged in a "coverup" to obscure evidence related to child sex abuse, affecting not only the victim but also other unnamed students.

Bobby Thompson, Esq. California Lawyer - Legal Herald
Hi, I’m attorney Bobby Thompson. 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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Exploring the Legal Perspectives on Teacher Sexual Abuse

In our continued effort to raise awareness and provide valuable information on the issue of teacher sexual abuse, we bring you an exclusive interview with Bobby Thompson, Esq., an experienced sexual assault attorney based in California. In this conversation, we look into the legal rights available to victims of such abuse and the importance of holding accountable those responsible for negligence. Join us as we shed light on this critical topic and explore the path toward justice.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us, Mr. Thompson.

Bobby Thompson, Esq. (BT): Thank you for having me, Darla. It's my pleasure to be here.

DM: Mr. Thompson, in light of the recent case where a private school teacher pleaded guilty to sexual abuse, could you please explain the legal rights available to those who have been sexually abused by their teachers?

BT: Certainly, Darla. Victims of sexual abuse by teachers have legal rights that can help them seek justice and hold negligent parties accountable. In cases like these, victims may pursue civil lawsuits against not only the abuser but also the institutions responsible for the safety and well-being of the students, such as the school and its administration.

DM: That's an important point, Mr. Thompson. How can victims go about holding these negligent parties accountable?

BT: Victims can consult with an experienced sexual assault attorney who specializes in these types of cases. The attorney can guide them through the legal process, helping them understand their rights and options. They will investigate the circumstances surrounding the abuse, gather evidence, and build a strong case against the responsible parties. Depending on the specifics of the case, victims may seek compensation for damages, including physical and emotional harm, therapy expenses, and loss of enjoyment of life.

DM: Thank you for explaining that, Mr. Thompson. What would you tell someone who may be a victim of teacher sexual abuse but hasn't come forward yet?

BT: It's crucial for victims to know that they are not alone and that there is support available to them. I encourage anyone who has experienced teacher sexual abuse to reach out to a trusted adult, such as a parent, counselor, or attorney, who can provide guidance and support. Coming forward and speaking up is an important step in the path of seeking justice and preventing further harm to others.

Were You Sexually Assaulted By a Private School Teacher? Contact Us for a Free Consultation Today!

If you or a loved one were sexually abused by a private school teacher, it is essential to seek professional legal guidance to understand your rights and explore your options. Our dedicated team is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation, where we can provide the expertise and guidance you need to navigate this challenging journey towards justice. You don't have to face this alone - reach out to us now to take the first step towards reclaiming your power and holding the responsible parties accountable.



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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: 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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