The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that teacher Armando Gonzalez kissed, fondled and inappropriately touched three young girls between 2008 and 2010, resulting in "extensive physical, psychological and emotional damage." The girls were about 8 and 11 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.
The suit also said that district officials had ignored numerous "red flags," including complaints lodged against Gonzalez as early as 2007. The suit alleges that he may have molested as many as 15 children.
Gonzalez could not be reached, and his attorney did not immediately return a phone call.
District spokesman Sean Rossall said Gonzalez was reassigned to an administrative office in 2010, after the district received a complaint, and that he hasn't been in a classroom since. The school board voted to fire Gonzalez in January 2012, but he appealed his termination.
Gonzalez resigned last week without receiving a settlement, Rossall said. The district then reported Gonzalez's resignation to the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
According to Rossall, the case against Gonzalez involved a "lengthy" police and district investigation.
Luis Carrillo, the attorney for the three girls, said the district took action against Gonzalez after receiving a complaint from another child, and that his clients were identified as alleged victims during the subsequent investigation.
Carrillo also represents several of the alleged victims of Mark Berndt, the former Miramonte Elementary teacher who has pleaded not guilt to charges that he molested 23 students. The district has agreed to pay some $30 mlliion to settle 63 claims, but 65 other cases remain outstanding.
Authorities said Berndt played a bizarre "tasting game" with his students, spoon-feeding them his semen and giving them semen-tained cookies.
His arrest triggered a sex-abuse scandal that resulted in new policies for reporting suspected abuse and notifying parents about alleged misconduct involving teachers at their child's school. ___