Student Reported Abuse to Principal 4 – 5 Times, No Disciplinary Actions Taken Against Abusers
(Bell, CA) – On behalf of courageous survivor Raquel Morales, attorneys from the law firms of Jeff Anderson & Associates and Greenberg Gross filed a lawsuit against Bell High School and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), identifying two teachers accused of child sexual abuse. The lawsuit alleges:
- The student was allegedly abused by two male teachers, Meredith Seals and Juan Fraga, who both worked at Bell High School.
- Seals was a driver’s ed teacher and a track coach.
- Fraga was an auto shop teacher.
- Morales was abused from approximately 1978 to 1980 when she was approximately 15 to 17 years old.
- During the 1978 to 1979 academic year, Morales was assigned to Seals’ driving class. Auto Shop teacher, Juan Fraga, found out, but instead of reporting to law enforcement, Fraga also began sexually abusing her, calling her out of classes to see him even though she was never his student.
- During her sophomore year, Morales became pregnant. Due to the trauma, fear, and inability to determine who the father was, she obtained an abortion.
- After learning about the pregnancy, Seals and Fraga had a public argument in earshot of students and staff.
- When Morales disclosed her pregnancy to Bell High School P.E. teacher and gymnastic coach, Ms. Case, she was called a “whore” and asked whether the child was Seals’ or Fraga’s.
- Morales reported the abuse to Bell High School Principal Mr. Latpin who also failed to notify law enforcement or remove Seals and Fraga from the school.
“Instead of supporting and encouraging a student who had an unstable home life, these teachers exploited her vulnerability in order to abuse her for their own sexual gratification. Other staff and administration inexcusably ignored the abuse and engaged in victim-blaming,” said attorney Daniel Cha. “While we can’t go back in time to stop this egregious abuse, we hope this lawsuit brings about accountability, for her perpetrators and their enablers, and awareness, for LAUSD and the public at large going forward.”
“We applaud the courage of this survivor. Not only does coming forward help make the world a safer place for kids, it’s helping many survivors who were also abused at school realize they are not alone.” said attorney Mike Reck.