OC instructor faces new abuse allegations, 20 years after first

Krystyna Gomez was a senior at Savanna Excessive Faculty in Anaheim when she instructed a faculty counselor that the historical past instructor kissed and groped her in her classroom.

One other scholar confided in Gomez that she misplaced her virginity to the instructor. There was discuss amongst college students about an inappropriate relationship between the teacher and a 3rd lady, Gomez stated, however she was the one one of many three to come back ahead.

The instructor, David Sepe, was charged by the Anaheim metropolis legal professional with two misdemeanor counts of molesting or molesting a toddler beneath 18. He denied the cost and a jury acquitted him of the costs in 2004. He later sued Gomez alleging defamation.

“My response to those allegations has all the time been constant,” Sepe wrote in court docket data within the defamation go well with, including that he “by no means touched” Gomez.

By 2008, Sepe moved to a neighboring highschool the place he continues to show.

Gomez, 37, is considered one of three girls who’ve filed lawsuits in latest months towards the Anaheim Union Excessive Faculty District alleging Sepe groomed them — constructing their belief and performing as a confidant — earlier than touching them inappropriately within the early 2000s. even years

In interviews with The Occasions, the ladies described their lawsuits as an try and drive the district to take their issues critically and bar Sepe from contact with youngsters.

“I do know what he is accomplished and what he is able to and it bothers my complete being that he is nonetheless a instructor,” Gomez stated. “In my coronary heart I consider tigers do not change their stripes.”

Sepe didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.

Sepe started working within the district in September 1995, only a few months after he first acquired his educating credential, in response to state licensing and district data.

Gomez claimed within the lawsuit and through an interview with The Occasions that whereas she was Sepe’s assistant, he requested her to remain after class or be a part of him after faculty within the classroom the place he would kiss and grope her.

The lawsuits, filed in Orange County Superior Court docket, allege the district “turned a blind eye to its misconduct” and gave the instructor “entry to a brand new group of minor college students” after Gomez got here ahead with allegations.

“Total, these lawsuits paint an image of a serial abuser who was left unchecked and unchecked,” one of many lawsuits states.

District spokesman John Bautista wrote in an e mail to The Occasions that the district “has not acquired any lawsuits and, due to this fact, has no remark.” Sepe, who additionally coached soccer and baseball, presently teaches at Katella Excessive Faculty.

The lawsuit was filed beneath California legislation that opened a three-year window for victims of childhood abuse to sue when the statute of limitations has already expired.

Gomez, Krystal Slocum and a 3rd former scholar who shouldn’t be named within the grievance are in search of unspecified damages of their lawsuits towards the college district.

Slocum, now 37, was a sophomore at Savanna when she was positioned in Sepe’s historical past class in the course of the 2000-2001 faculty yr. They turned shut throughout that point and Slocum typically confided in him, she stated.

Slocum and different feminine college students would typically spend time with Sepe in his classroom throughout lunch and after faculty, in response to the lawsuit.

“It’s common information on campus that Sepe had group members, all of whom have been younger college students, who spent an inappropriate period of time with him,” the lawsuit says.

The alleged abuse started throughout her junior yr, the lawsuit stated, after Sepe selected Slocum to be her educating assistant. In an interview with The Occasions, Slocum stated the subject of her and Sepe “courting” was first broached when she dropped off brownies she made for him in her classroom the day earlier than winter break.

“He virtually took into consideration how mature I used to be and the way good I used to be and this rant about what actually is the distinction between an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old,” she stated.

Slocum, who was 16 on the time, was in superior placement courses, was vice chairman of the related scholar physique and later graduated with honors. She was typically instructed by adults how mature she was for her age, she stated.

“And when he stated, ‘It’s best to meet me as a substitute of the little boys at Savanna,’ I agreed,” she stated. “It was actually easy for him and I do know he should have focused me for that.”

At one level, in response to the lawsuit, Sepe tried to kiss her in his classroom after faculty. She pushed him away, afraid she would get in hassle.

Sepe invited her to go to his condominium in Fullerton the place he would sexually assault her, the lawsuit stated.

“His particular remedy of her and professions of affection, mixed with plaintiff’s younger age, allowed Sepe to govern her in unwavering loyalty,” the lawsuit states. Within the months that adopted, Slocum “had a tough time admitting that Sepe had sexually abused her as a result of she was afraid he was in hassle,” in response to the lawsuit.

A 3rd plaintiff, who shouldn’t be named within the grievance, alleges that in her sophomore yr she started receiving telephone calls from a person who recognized himself as her secret admirer, the lawsuit states.

The Occasions typically doesn’t determine individuals who have reported being victims of sexual assault.

The caller would ask the lady, who was 15 on the time, “if there have been any lecturers she want to have intercourse with or if there have been any lecturers she fantasized about,” the lawsuit states.

The girl may hear the person masturbating whereas on the telephone, in response to the lawsuit. Lastly, the person recognized himself as Sepe, the lawsuit states, and shortly after started touching her inappropriately at school.

After he was acquitted of the misdemeanor expenses, Sepe sued Gomez and her mom alleging malicious prosecution and abuse of course of, in search of greater than $300,000 in damages. He claimed in court docket paperwork that his “fame was ruined due to a infantile schoolgirl ardour.”

Sepe settled the lawsuit in December 2006, in response to court docket data.

The interval was extraordinarily troublesome for Gomez, she stated. She was ostracized by her friends and transferred to a different highschool to complete her senior yr.

“From the start, truthfully, all I wished to do was do the proper factor and get this man away from children,” she stated.

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