According to the Marin Independent Journal, the superintendent of the Shoreline Unified School District was arrested on suspicion of child molestation. The shoreline Unified School District has about 500 students at Bodega Bay School, Inverness School, Tomales Elementary School, Tomales High School, and West Marin School.
Robert Patrick Raines, 67-years-old, has worked in the Marin and Sonoma counties for 40 years. Raines was weeks away from retirement before the arrest. The arrest began on June 1 after the school district head of the allegations and reported them to authorities. The sheriff's department said they would not release details regarding the abuse.
Raines worked at the Alexander Valley Union School District as a superintendent and principal before joining the Shoreline Unified School District. He worked as a principal at many different schools.
Raines, when questioned by the Marin Independent Journal, said the allegations were false. He was arrested on the charge of lewd and lascivious acts against a child younger than 14-years-old. Raines' bail was set at $50,000.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson, an experienced sexual assault attorney, represents victims abused sexually in a school. Below, Bobby provides commentary to help victims sexually abused by a superintendent or principal learn their legal options.
"School administrations have a legal duty to provide a safe learning environment for students and uphold their safety. Across the country, numerous sexual assault cases against school employees have surfaced. Schools must do everything in their power to ensure those hired are not predators. Unfortunately, predators often seek out positions of leadership in schools to gain the trust of students to sexually abuse them. When a school hires staff, they must do everything in their power to ensure they are trustworthy people and should definitely start with running a background check. However, school administration should also implement safety and security measures to ensure the continued safety of students. Such measures include cameras, misconduct reporting systems, certified reporters, and more."
"Victims abused by a school employee should question if the school and the administration did everything possible to prevent the abuse from occurring. If a school did not implement ample security and safety measures and abuse occurs, the school may be deemed liable. Often, sexual abuse occurs due to the negligence of a third party such as an administration. One example of negligence is if misconduct complaints were made previously but ignored by staff members. Victims of sexual abuse should secure the services of an experienced sexual assault attorney to explore the different types of negligence and their legal options. In negligence cases, victims and their families should know they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit."