Last Update: 7/13/2020
On Tuesday, a former teacher from La Jolla Country Day School was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor. As of September 13, it is unclear if the victim was a current or former student at the school or when the alleged crimes were reported.
35-year-old Jonathan Sammartino has been charged with one count of statutory rape and two counts involving sex acts with a minor. The charges were filed locally.
Sammartino began teaching at The Harker School in San Jose at the beginning of this school year. He has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. According to The Harker School, these charges were filed after they’d already conducted a background check on him.
Sammartino taught upper-level social science courses in LJCDS’s Upper School (high school) from 2012 to 2016. He also lectured at the University of California – San Diego.
Bobby Thompson, an experienced school sexual abuse lawyer, helps the victims of sexual abuse and assault find justice and support. We’ve asked him for some input regarding the legal options available to these victims:
“Schools are supposed to be enriching environments where our kids can learn and grow as people. But unfortunately, the individuals employed by these schools are not always people who should be around kids. While most teachers and educational professionals are honorable people, a minority are sexual predators who use their positions of trust and authority as a means to sexually abuse students,” Mr. Thompson said.
Bobby also elaborated on the potential for legal claims to be used in the pursuit of justice, “When a child is sexually assaulted by a teacher, coach, or another school employee, making sure the perpetrator is held criminally responsible is always the first step. But families should also be aware that, in cases where the school’s negligence played a role in the assault, the family could have grounds for a lawsuit against the school.”