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Manly Stewart & Finaldi File New Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Scandal Plagued Redlands Unified School District

Fourth alleged Victim of convicted pedophile teacher Sean Lopez files lawsuit under new California child sex abuse victims’ law AB 218.

Attorneys representing a fourth alleged victims of former Clement Middle School teacher Sean Lopez announced the filing of a new lawsuit against the school and the Redlands Unified School District.

Manly Stewart & Finaldi filed a lawsuit on behalf on three other alleged victims of Sean Lopez in late January.

Lopez was convicted of 60 felony counts of child sexual abuse in 2006 and is serving a 74-year prison sentence. The abuse alleged in this lawsuit occurred between 1999 and 2001. The victim was 14-16 years old at the time of the alleged sexual abuse

AB 218, a new law which took effect on January 1, 2020, created a three-year window in California’s statute of limitations law for victims of child sexual abuse including the alleged victims in this case.

According to the lawsuit, administrators received complaints that Lopez would meet young male students in his classroom during and after school hours and engaged in graphic discussions about pornography and sex.

The complaint alleges that Lopez told the boys that he was conducting scientific experiments. In his classroom or at his residence, he would give them alcohol and pornography, masturbate them and engage in oral sex and collect their semen for his “studies.” He photographed and videotaped the sex acts as part of this process.

“This is one more sex abuse scandal in the Redlands Unified School District. It is the fourth victim of serial pedophile Sean Lopez and will probably not be the last. During the past decade no less than five Redlands High School faculty members have been accused of sexual misconduct involving students. All five were fired and two of them went to jail. Under AB 218 we are now able to investigate charges of abuse which go back even further in this case, nearly 20 years. Parents and law enforcement officials need to ask the district ‘Why did this happen and when is it going to stop’,” said victims’ attorney Morgan Stewart, a partner in Manly Stewart & Finaldi.

In 2004, just three years after Lopez’s arrest, RUSD installed serial pedophile Kevin Kirkland as Assistant Principal at Clements Middle School. Kirkland subsequently pleaded guilty to eight felonies for sexually abusing four female students and was sent to prison. In 2018, Manly Stewart & Finaldi won a 15.7 million-dollar settlement on behalf of his victims.

Manly Stewart & Finaldi achieved a 6 million-dollar settlement against the school and the Redlands Unified School District in the 2016 case of Laura Whitehurst, a teacher at Redlands High School and Citrus Valley High School who became pregnant by an under-aged student.

In 2018, the law firm won a settlement on behalf of the family of the alleged victims of former Redlands High School drama teacher Joel Koonce for $8.5 million.

Mr. Stewart indicated that: “Following this settlement, RUSD has claimed it was strengthened its policy and procedures to protect children. However, the growing sexual abuse scandal that is plaguing the District is unequivocal proof that the District has failed.”

Mr. Stewart renewed his call for a separate and independent investigation of the District by State and Federal bodies.

Manly Stewart & Finaldi is California’s leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the US. In 2018, the firm settled cases against the Torrance Unified School District for $31 million on behalf of alleged victims of former wrestling coach and convicted child molester Thomas Snider, against Los Angeles Unified School district for $8 million in cases involving former football coach and convicted child molester Jamie Jimenez, and for $14 million in cases involving former Los Angeles Unified District employee Ronnie Lee Roman.

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Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is regarded as America's leading law firm for sexual abuse cases. As a firm that exclusively handles sexual abuse cases, our California law firm offers experienced representation to obtain justice for sexual abuse survivors, harassment, and discrimination.

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