School Hushed Up Sex Scandal, Cop Says

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A police officer assigned to South East High School claims he was punitively transferred for reporting that a substitute teacher took a student to a hotel for sex, and that the school principal and assistant principal dissuaded the girl from reporting it.

Officer Luis Barraza claims that in October 2007 the school principal informed him of the sex allegation, which Barraza investigated. Barraza says the student wrote a statement recanting her allegation.

In February 2008, Barraza says, "the victim/student appeared at Barraza's office upset that nothing had been done about the information that she had previously provided to the school. The victim/student indicated to Barraza that the reason she had recanted earlier was that after speaking with the principal and assistant principal she became afraid to go forward with her allegations."

Barraza says he wrote up "a full-blown crime report documenting what had occurred" and submitted it to the South Gate Police Department, and to the Department of Social Services.

"Subsequently, the teacher, principal and assistant principal were arrested and are awaiting prosecution," according to his Superior Court complaint.

But Barraza says the principal and assistant principal returned to South East High School in May, "despite public outcry," while he has been punitively transferred and subjected to "freeway therapy:" forced to commute long distances in retaliation for his report of crimes against a child.

Barraza demands punitive damages from Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles School Police Department, and three officers in the LASPD. He is represented by Michael McGill with Lackie, Dammeier & McGill.

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