Wednesday Oct 14 2009
School district sued
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
Lawsuit filed by father of former Marine recruiter’s victim moves to Placer County
Events that led to the conviction of a former Marine recruiter for sexually assaulting a Lincoln High School student in 2008 are at the heart of a lawsuit filed against the Western Placer Unified School District. That lawsuit is in the process of moving from Sacramento County to Placer County this week. The lawsuit was filed in May by the stepfather of the Lincoln High School student who was sexually assaulted by the former Marine recruiter in 2008. The former recruiter, Victor Sanchez-Millan, was sentenced to one year in jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and unlawful sex with a minor. He was also required to register as a sex offender. According to the complaint, filed by the family, they are suing the school district for “failure to supervise” and “negligent infliction of emotional distress.” The stepfather, who will remain anonymous to protect the victim’s identity, said Monday that he was suing the school district because they didn’t release a statement to the press “that apologized for their actions in regard of what happened” with his stepdaughter. She was allowed to leave campus for lunch numerous times without any question from school staff, according to the stepfather. The plaintiff said the statement drafted between himself, the district’s assistant superintendent Mary Boyle and Lincoln High School principal Dave Butler “acknowledged they made mistakes, misspoken with statements,” and stated that the school district “would change things in the future” regarding the high school’s policy about students leaving campus for lunch and being signed out of school classes without parents’ permission. Scott Leaman, the school district’s superintendent, said Tuesday that he “wasn’t able to say whether or not the statement was drafted because the case is under litigation” and he “can’t discuss aspects of the lawsuit.” The stepfather wouldn’t elaborate about the current lawsuit on the advice of his attorney. At press time Wednesday, the attorney representing the stepfather didn’t return phone messages left Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by The News Messenger. Sanchez-Millan, when asked Monday by The News Messenger about the lawsuit, said, “all (the stepfather) wants is money.” Sanchez-Millan was released from Sacramento County Jail on Aug. 12. “Honestly, I hope the school wins because the school had nothing to do with what happened,” Sanchez-Millan said Monday. Carol Wieckowski, the attorney representing the school district, said that a date for the start of the trial has not yet been set. The lawsuit is being moved to Placer County for two reasons, according to Daniel Jay, an associate attorney who works for Wieckowski. “The real answer is it shouldn’t have been filed in Sacramento County,” said Jay on Tuesday. “The events that are alleged in the complaint didn’t take place in Sacramento County.” Jay said that it is “set forth in the government code” to have a case take place where the events occurred. In this case, that would be Placer County. Jay also said that a public entity “is entitled to have the case where they are located.” In this case, the public entity is the Western Placer Unified School District. After the case is moved to Placer County, Wieckowski said that it will be in discovery, which is when facts and information are gathered for the trial.