Teacher Arrested

Yesterday in Los Angeles, Robert Pimentel was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse.

The activities allegedly occurred between 2011 and 2012 when Pimentel was a 4th grade teacher at George De La Torre, Jr. Elementary school.

Police began investigating in March of 2012, and school officials removed Pimentel from campus and began the dismissal process.

Instead, Pimentel retired.

Administrators are being applauded for taking swift action.

That may be justified, but it does not eliminate all concerns, some of which are described in the linked article from NPR:

...More than 70 interviews were conducted during the police investigation, and 20 female students were found to have been victimized, Los Angeles police Capt. Fabian Lizarraga said.

Another victim was a female teacher who complained that Pimentel had inappropriately touched her, police said. The alleged abuse occurred in Pimentel's fourth-grade classroom during school hours and in some cases was witnessed by other students...

Ok, so law enforcement identified 20 potential underage victims, and another teacher who may have been victimized?

Wow.

Wait, there's more:

...A previous report of sexual misconduct against Pimentel occurred four years ago at the school, and another complaint was made eight years ago at another elementary school where both a female principal and Pimentel had worked...
Really?

This accused teacher had two previous accusations of sexual misconduct in his file?

And there was a third one (via the teacher found by police) that was either not reported or reported and not documented in his file?

If I was an administrator in that district, I don't think I'd be seen high-fiving my colleagues.

Three sexual misconduct allegations against an educator would seem like a pretty loud warning sign for officials.

And sadly, the lives of so many young victims have been impacted.
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Note: LAPD officers used a different spelling of the accused's name "Robert Pimental," and sorry for ending the week on a down note.

26 comments:

markmushakian.com said...

I'm a guy who's going into teaching, myself, and it's always hard to hear these stories... especially when the person has such a long history of incidences like this one. Hindsight is quite a thing, but I'm with you - it's good that he's no longer teaching, but it's almost a hollow victory.

Miss Caitlin S. said...

Ugh, Sex Offenders continually make me so sad. I feel like they really can't help themselves but I also hate phrasing it like that because it implies that they're free of guilt which I do NOT think. I just don't understand how they seemingly continue to attack as much as they can. And how easily they can slip through the cracks.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ciara said...

My stomach is churning at this despicable lack of effort to protect children. My heart goes out to all those victims and their families.

Momma Fargo said...

Not surprised. I had the school district cover up several sexual abuse charges and finally I got the case and arrested a teacher after he took a gun after a woman and tried to sexually assault her. He had had several complaints prior to that which were never turned over to police. Another note, I arrested a vice principal for DUI after he crashed into and totalled 2 cars, ran from police, then lied. They kept him on and didn't fire him. His record showed 6 previous DUIs in the last 3 years. And they want us to have faith in these people teaching our children and keeping them safe? A shame.

Pat Hatt said...

Bunch of sickos out there, add another one to the pile. Not sure any applauding should be going on considering they let him keep teaching after doing it three times before.

BobKat said...

I'd read about this case and there's an unfortunate irony to it. I thought there was another teacher involved, but maybe it's the same guy. Regardless, you say he was alleged to have been suspected years earlier at another school of sexual misconduct, and yet here he is now, years later, after all these previous and current allegations finally being investigated seriously. From what I read the allegations are pretty sick... semen glazed cookies and such, yuck! Inappropriate fondling of young students in front of other students. If true, a sick dude indeed.

But the irony is years ago I worked at an elementary school, 10 years all told, and there was a respectable science teacher of many years who got accused once of inappropriate touching of a student - that he placed his hand on a female students shoulder in a way that she deemed sexual. He was charged with one count of sexual misconduct, forced to resign, and after months of legal battles was acquitted when the student finally recanted her accusation. The teacher never taught again. Having known him very well, it seemed the charge against him was at best, an over-reaction by the student; but one just does not know. A hand on a shoulder can reassure, or it can frighten.

My point - he had taught over twenty years at the school and one event destroyed his career and cost him thousands in legal defense.

Here we have a teacher with multiple allegations of misconduct, and he's allowed to continue teaching. He even gets a job at a new school.

Would I as a man consider teaching at a public school? No way. Yet in the years I did work at a public school - non-teaching position with a year in Chapter One, some students really craved the attention and support of an adult... and to be honest, I denied them that support for fear that being too "friendly" with the child would cause problems. There was one student in particular that was special needs and I suspect had a bad home-life. He really wanted to metal detect with me and use me as a father figure. I ignored him mostly, lest someone suspect the wrong thing.

That was right yet wrong on my part - as how do I know that child didn't live in an abusive family. How do I know he didn't grow up a serial killer because I ignored him?I trusted myself, just not the system.

Yet here we have a teacher with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct... and the system did nothing. That's the tragic irony of our world today. Maybe no one get's it. But I do.

Thanks Slam.



Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

This is so disturbing :-(

messymimi said...

While one accusation might be someone with an agenda against you, when it keeps happening, there's a reason.

Diane Estrella said...

Are we really THAT desperate for teachers nowadays????? YUK!

Stephanie said...

Oh scary! It really shouldn't be so hard to protect our children!

LD Masterson said...

Bobkat brought up the point that always troubles me. As a mother and now a grandmother, I want to protect children from anyone who would use a position of authority to abuse them in any way. But I also know of cases where a person's life has been ruined by a false (or even misunderstood) accusation. How do authorities know?

In this case, the multiple accusations over a period of time should have been more than enough.

Donna K. Weaver said...

This is ridiculous. Those kinds of accusations should have been followed up on. We presume innocence, yes, but letting someone get away with it without bringing it to court is insane. In a nonschool environment with the coworker, that would have been sexual harrassment.

BobKat said...

LD Masterson...

Agreed, but to clarify... one report of misconduct like a hand on a shoulder should be noted, but dealt with within the establishment - school, office, workplace. The type of behavior needs to be closely examined and considered. The hand on the shoulder has never seemed to me to be considered misconduct - if so I've been violated many times.

sending every such case to court is lunacy. But letting a guy like this who obviously had serious problems and got away with it is inexcusable. We really need to pull together as a society and find a solution to our dilemma. Otherwise people like myself who avoid being a father figure to a kid who would benefit, or good teachers where an over-reaction destroys their careers and the many children they could have taught will continue. And that's as tragic as this story Slam posted.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Even in India, students are prone to sexual attacks. I keep wondering what kind of a perverse mind does that to a child.

Candice said...

Wow...unbelievable! I'm always amazed when people turn a blind eye towards sexual predators. History tells us they will offend again and again. :(

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

This kind of thing makes me sick on so many levels, as a teacher, parent, and human being!

Stephanie D said...

Those kinds of stories leave me truly sad for the victims...and outraged that nothing more was done.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I just don't get it. I'll all for due process, but it seems like the rule should be one strike and your out when it comes to sex offenses and the hiring and retaining of teachers.

Clarissa Draper said...

How sad. And meanwhile, all those young girls were victimized!

Clarissa Draper said...

What is it? Lack of teachers?

Carol Kilgore said...

This guy was pretty darn brazen. I wonder if there's any way to stop this kind of behavior?

Maxi said...

This is outrageous. What are these people thinking? Don't they do background checks?

After three incidents there should have been an investigation.

Sadly the victims pay the price.

Blessings ~ Maxi

Luisa Doraz said...

We all need to be more careful in our investigation of people who are in contact with children. I believe too many people put too much priority on ones title...not record! Have a great weekend.

A Cuban In London said...

I always think of the lives of the young people, too. Like you, it appals me to imagine an official overlooking someone's sexual offences so glibly.

Greetings from London.

lisa said...

How does someone like that even get hired to teach in this day and age? Unbelievable and inexcusable. I hope there is some kind of justice for those victims.

Mommy Lisa said...

Ugh.