New Allegations Emerge in Sexual Misconduct Case
A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court recently detailed new allegations of sexual misconduct by a former Marlborough School teacher, including a reported history of sexual abuse of students at other Los Angeles-area private schools that were apparently ignored when he was hired at the Hancock Park all-girls school.
The LA Times reports that the lawsuit, filed by an unnamed 30-year-old former Marlborough student, alleges that the teacher initiated a year-long sexual relationship with her in 2000, when she was 16. The lawsuit also says that Marlborough school ignored past allegations of sexual misconduct by Joseph Thomas Koetters at Polytechnic School in Pasadena and Viewpoint School in Calabasas.
The Marlborough school failed to investigate complaints against the teacher or to alert authorities to possible abuse and stood by as Koetters preyed on at least two other students over more than a decade on campus, according to the lawsuit. School officials also apparently helped him secure another teaching job rather than fire him and failed to alert Polytechnic School of the allegations of sexual misconduct before Koetters was rehired there in 2013, the woman said in the lawsuit.
“Because the matter is the subject of a criminal investigation and now in litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time,” Marlborough spokeswoman Carly Rodriguez said in a statement. Koetters, who was arrested in February, faces criminal charges related to his time at Marlborough, including two counts each of oral copulation and penetration with a foreign object involving someone under 18, according to the district attorney’s office. He is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student beginning in 2000. Koetters pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $140,000 bail.
Sex crimes often arise in the school environment, similar to this incident. Not only does a conviction carry jail time or probation, but a conviction tarnishes the reputation of the accused.
The California Penal Code § 289 makes it a crime to forcibly penetrate with a foreign object. This crime is also referred to as sexual penetration. The state is required to prove that the accused committed an act of sexual penetration on another, using a foreign object, without the victim’s consent and through the use of force, violence, duress, and fear of immediate bodily injury or threat of retaliation.
Forcible acts of sexual penetration are punishable as felonies in California. A conviction carries a prison sentence of 3, 6, or 8 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction also subjects the accused to lifelong sex offender registration.
All too often people find themselves charged with sex crimes based on false accusations from jealous, mistaken or manipulated accusers. Sexual penetration crimes are serious crimes that follow the accused through their lifetime. There are legal defenses that exist and should be explored with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
At The Rodriguez Law Group, your case matters and we have the experience and expertise you need. Attorney Rodriguez spent four years in the sexual assault/child abuse unit during his career as a senior deputy DA. His superior court trial work gives him the expertise in this area of law, and he is confident in taking on even the most difficult and complicated cases. Do not wait; contact our office today to discuss your case.