Rowland Heights School District Sued Over Actions of Convicted Child Molester Jose Cruz Martinez

Rowland Heights Unified School District is the target of a civil lawsuit after former elementary school teacher Jose Cruz Martinez was convicted of child sex abuse.

In 2019, Martinez was sentenced to five years for inappropriately touching girls, and earlier this year, sentenced to 20 years convicted of child sex abuse.

Martinez, 54, of Rowland Heights must also register as a sex offender, according to Lt. Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.

Martinez pleaded no contest on Feb. 11 to four felony counts of lewd act upon a child and one misdemeanor count of child molesting.

He inappropriately touched five girls, ages 7 and 8, between August 2014 and June 2015 and between August 2017 and April 2018 while at the Rowland Heights campus, according to the prosecution. One of the victims told a parent who then notified law enforcement.

The civil lawsuit is seeking damages from the Rowland Unified School District, accusing it of negligence and failure to perform mandatory duties, including the duty to report suspected incidents of child abuse. The mother of the child said if they knew, they should have been the ones to stop it.

Any other victims or anyone with information about Martinez should immediately contact the Los Angeles County Sherrif’s Department.

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi has represented hundreds of children who were sexually assaulted by teachers in schools . We secured a settlement of $140 million on behalf of 81 child sexual abuse victims at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles. This was the largest child sexual abuse settlement by a public school district in history. We are also the lead attorneys representing Olympic athletes and victims of former US Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar and secured $890 million in settlements for our clients. In each of these cases we have helped victims and families get justice by conducting a thorough investigation of the organization and the school In many cases we have discovered that administrators and executives know that the perpetrator was a danger to children and either did nothing or actively covered up the crimes.