Thursday May 21 2009
Marine's testimony sought in sex suit
By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
Lawyers representing the Lincoln High School student sexually assaulted last year by Marine Recruiter Victor Sanchez-Millan say they will seek a jury trial in the civil suit filed May 12 against the district. During that trial, said Michael Hackard, the attorney representing the victim and her family, Sanchez-Millan will be brought to testify. “We’ll be able to have him testify under oath,” Hackard told the News Messenger. “Since he’s already been convicted of the two felonies and two misdemeanors, I would assume he’s going to fully tell the truth.” The father of the victim told the News Messenger Friday that he is confident Sanchez-Millan will tell the truth. According to a Western Placer Unified School District Scott Leaman, the district is reviewing the allegations brought forth in the lawsuit. “This is an allegation the district is taking seriously. We will investigate the incident, but at this time cannot address the specific allegations made by the family against the school district” Leaman said May 21. After several media outlets, including the News Messenger, published the statement May 21, the victim’s father expressed his frustration with the district. “How long can you keep on saying, ‘We’re looking into it,’ ” asked the father, who will remain anonymous in order not to identify the victim. According to the father, the district has had “plenty of time” to look into the allegations, especially since Sanchez-Millan is currently serving time for the crime. Leaman declined to expand on the statement Friday. The father added that he is confident electronic records of chat messages exchanged between Sanchez-Millan and the victim over MySpace will prove that Sanchez-Millan left campus with the victim during school hours to have an illegal sexual relationship with her. Sanchez-Millan pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor in a plea bargain Oct. 30 in Sacramento County. In December, Sanchez-Millan was sentenced to one year in jail and required to register as a sex offender. An earlier complaint filed against the Western Placer Unified School District was rejected by the Board of Trustees, and the victim and her family filed the civil lawsuit – which seeks compensation for damages in an as-yet-unknown amount – May 12. The lawsuit accuses the district of negligence, including “failure to supervise” and “negligent infliction of emotional distress.” Hackard, a senior partner in the Sacramento-based Hackard Law Firm, said he is in his 33rd year as an attorney. “We’re preparing for discovery,” Hackard said Thursday, adding that discovery is the process of finding new information and confirming already known information. That process, according to Hackard, can take a couple of years, and no court date has been set at this time. The family will seek “several million,” the father told the News Messenger, adding, “What would you do if it was your daughter?” Not all of the money the father expects to get in the case will stay with him and his family, he said. He plans to donate a percentage of the money back to the community. Story updated at 12p.m. May 27. Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.