Former La Jolla private school student files suit alleging teacher molestation

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A lawsuit filed on behalf of a former student at the private Bishop’s School in La Jolla alleges that a female computer science teacher repeatedly molested and harassed the now 41-year-old plaintiff over a two-year period, beginning when he was 16 years old.

The alleged abuse included fondling, oral sex and sexual intercourse on campus grounds, the teacher’s home, a hotel, a restaurant, a park and other locations throughout San Diego, according to the lawsuit.

The teacher — a married mother with children then in her early 30s — would sometimes bring John H. Doe into the computer lab and molest him with the door locked and windows covered, the complaint alleges.

The alleged acts continued after the student turned 18 and was no longer a student at the college preparatory school, according to the plaintiff’s court papers.

A statement issued by plaintiff’s attorney Vince Finaldi said the school, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and the teacher are defendants in the suit filed in San Diego Superior Court.

Representatives from the school and the diocese could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the suit, Doe only realized last year through therapy that lingering “psychological injuries or illnesses” were the result of the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of the teacher.

The suit alleges that on multiple occasions, other staff and the school’s headmistress saw the plaintiff and his computer science teacher leaving the computer lab together, with no other person in the room. The headmistress’ follow-up questions to the plaintiff, including “How are you really?” suggested knowledge about what was happening, according to the complaint.

The court filing states that the teacher was fired in 2018 for reasons not stated in the lawsuit.

Allegations against former Bishop’s School teachers have made headlines over the years, though the bulk of the allegations related to abuse that allegedly occurred in the 1970s and ’80s. A letter issued to alumni last year stated that seven graduates had come forward regarding alleged sexual abuse at the campus, with 15 separate incidents described, according to a July 2018 La Jolla Light article.

Finaldi said, “This scandal-plagued school had every reason to be on guard given the long history of criminal sexual activity on their campus. Instead, they ignored all the warning signs and allowed a teacher to sexually molest, harass and threaten our client for two years.”

Doe said in a statement, “I have chosen to keep my name private as is the right of every victim of child sexual assault in California. My message to other victims of abuse at the Bishop’s School is — contact law enforcement. Hold your abuser accountable. Protect other children. Your privacy will be respected, and you will be believed.”

Categories: Local San Diego News