Birmingham Trainer Richard Turner Faces 15 Counts of Inappropriate Touching; At Least 10 Survivors Allege Sexual Abuse

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Former Birmingham Trainer Richard Turner Arrested; Faces Numerous Sexual Assault Allegations

Former Birmingham Trainer Richard Turner Arrested; Faces Numerous Sexual Assault Allegations

Oct 19, 2022

In September, Dordulian Law Group (DLG) posted a blog detailing the troubling allegations against Richard Turner, a former athletic and physical trainer who worked at a number of area schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District, including:

  • Birmingham Community Charter High School in Lake Balboa, California

  • Van Nuys High School

Van Nuys high school trainer charged with sexually assaulting 10 teenage girls

Last month, a KTLA report confirmed:

“Law enforcement officials received a call of a sexual assault at Birmingham High School in the West Valley Area on September 20. Richard Turner, 64, was arrested Wednesday for 289(A)(1) PC Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object. His case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for the consideration of filing charges.”

A CBS News report from October 18 further noted that detectives learned Turner was also accused of touching a different underage student at Van Nuys High School five years ago. In the time since, law enforcement authorities have learned of at least 10 victims who claim to have been abused by Turner dating back to 2017.

As CBS News reported, detectives are continuing their investigation into a “number of sexual assault allegations” made against Turner, the former LAUSD trainer who was arrested back in September for inappropriately touching a student.

At the time of Turner’s arrest, Los Angeles Police Department detectives believed additional victims assaulted by the athletic trainer had yet to be identified.

However, despite the concern over additional unidentified survivors, CBS News confirmed that Turner posted bail and was released on September 22. After investigators subsequently located additional victims, Turner was taken back into custody later that same day. His bail is currently set at $750,000, according to CBS News.

Turner now faces more than 15 sex crime counts, including:

  • Forcible rape

  • Forcible penetration with a foreign object

  • Sexual penetration of an unconscious person

CBS News Report Details First-Hand Allegations Made by a Survivor of Turner’s Abuse

CBS News reported on a survivor who came forward to detail Turner’s alleged abuse.

After suffering ankle, leg, and back injuries while playing volleyball, the unidentified teen described having to seek treatment from the school’s training department – specifically Richard Turner.

The treatment for both of them consisted of massage,” she said, according to CBS News. “During those massages, he would make inappropriate comments like, ‘Your skin looks beautiful today,’ or stuff like that which got me a little bit uncomfortable.”

CBS News further reported that as the massage continued, the girl knew she “needed to get out of there – one way or another,” so she pretended to receive a phone call from her father. She acted as if he had arrived to pick her up, but Turner was unfazed, according to the CBS News report.

“He told me, ‘Give me a few more minutes, let me finish the treatment,’ which made him somehow still continue doing whatever he was doing and touch me inappropriately and after a little bit I told him, ‘I have to go, I have to go,’ and I left,” she said to CBS News.

According to CBS News, the survivor who came forward did so in an effort to speak out and help other survivors impacted by Turner feel comfortable telling their stories.

She also hopes that by telling her story, changes will be made so the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else,” CBS News reported.

“I feel like my school and everyone around me kind of failed me,” she said to CBS News. “In some ways I do feel betrayed and I don’t know if I will ever feel safe with another trainer or knowing that I have to get treatment, because I still have to get treatment for my ankle.”

Investigators are Seeking the Public’s Assistance in Identifying Additional Robert Turner Victims

Investigators are continuing to pursue the case against Robert Turner and are seeking additional victims who may have yet to be identified. Law enforcement officials are urging anyone with additional information related to a sex crime committed by Robert Turner to contact them immediately at 818-374-5415.

Birmingham Community Charter High School Principal Issues Statement

Birmingham Community Charter High School Principal Issues Statement

BCCHS Principal Ari Bennett issued the following statement to CBS News in response to the countless allegations of sexual assault against former trainer Robert Turner:

“Richard Turner’s alleged conduct is reprehensible and totally contrary to Birmingham Community Charter High School’s mission, values and the way we run our school. Our deepest sympathies go out to the student and student’s family who have been impacted by this. As always, our focus is on providing our students with a safe learning environment and the academic and developmental support they need to be successful students at Birmingham and beyond,” Bennett said.

Birmingham is cooperating with law enforcement during the course of its investigation. Given privacy and other concerns we are not able to make any further comment at the present time, including about pending litigation,” he added.

How to Look for Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Child or Teenager

Unfortunately, no straightforward litmus test exists which can help parents determine whether or not a child is being sexually abused by a teacher or coach. However, certain warning signs have been identified by various organizations, including the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

Firstly, it’s important to address what parents should do if a child reports an incident of sexual abuse:

  • Listen carefully to what they’re saying

  • Let them know they’ve done the right thing by telling you

  • Tell them it’s not their fault

  • Say you’ll take them seriously

  • Don’t confront the alleged abuser

  • Explain what you’ll do next

  • Report what the child has told you as soon as possible

“After empathizing with and supporting a child who comes forward with an allegation of sexual abuse, the next most important thing you can do is report the claim to the proper authorities. The vast majority of sex crimes sadly go unreported, and it’s important that reports are filed with law enforcement as soon as possible after a child makes an allegation. Once a report has been filed, you may proceed with a separate civil claim (in addition to any criminal charges that may be filed) in pursuit of maximum financial compensation,” Moses Castillo, Dordulian Law Group’s Chief Investigator and a retired 30-year LAPD detective, says.

Moreover, as Dordulian Law Group’s founder and former sex crimes prosecutor, Sam Dordulian, notes, how predators seek out positions of power in an effort to potentially harm children is something that all parents should realize and take seriously.

“It’s also important to remember that sexual predators are notorious for seeking out positions (whether as a professional or volunteer) that allow them access to children. Granted, 95% of coaches, teachers, clergy, volunteers at religious institutions, etc. are likely upstanding citizens. But parents need to be aware that there’s no standard model for a sexual predator. A predator can be any of age, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.,” Dordulian, says.

Here are some of the common warning signs displayed by adults that the Dordulian Law Group team has identified for parents:

  • Does not respect boundaries or listen when someone tells them “no”

  • Engages in touching that a child or child’s parents/guardians have indicated is unwanted

  • Tries to be a child’s friend rather than filling an adult role in the child’s life

  • Does not seem to have age-appropriate relationships

  • Talks with children about their personal problems or relationships

  • Spends time alone with children outside of their role in the child’s life or makes up excuses to be alone with the child

  • Expresses unusual interest in child’s sexual development, such as commenting on sexual characteristics or sexualizing normal behaviors

  • Gives a child gifts without occasion or reason

  • Spends a lot of time with your child or another child you know

  • Restricts a child’s access to other adults

Secure the Best and Most Experienced Legal Representation for Your Child’s School Sexual Abuse Claim

Sexual assault in schools occurs far too often, impacting countless innocent young people every year. In fact, statistically, the Education Department found that:

  • The number of reports of sexual violence at schools during the 2015-2016 school year totaled approximately 9,600.

  • During the 2017-2018 school year, however, that figure spiked to nearly 15,000 reports of sexual violence among students (representing an increase of more than 50%).

Additional statistics provided by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) highlight the urgent need to reduce sexual violence in K-12 schools, particularly given the prevalence reported in postsecondary institutions:

  • Almost one in four undergraduate women experienced sexual assault or misconduct at 33 of the nation’s major universities.

  • 13% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).

  • Among graduate and professional students, 9.7% of females and 2.5% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.

  • Among undergraduate students, 26.4% of females and 6.8% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.

  • 5.8% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is a full-service school sexual assault firm dedicated to helping survivors secure the justice they deserve. Led by former sex crimes prosecutor Sam Dordulian, DLG offers clients a unique brand of all-encompassing legal representation.

Through our four-tiered SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts), clients have 24/7 access to a dedicated support network in addition to the very best legal representation available:

  1. An in-house licensed clinical therapist with over 15 years of experience helping survivors through mental health struggles

  2. An in-house victim’s advocate dedicated to the needs of all survivors

  3. An in-house chief investigator with nearly 30 years of previous experience as an LAPD sex crimes detective

  4. A proven litigator – Sam Dordulian – with over 100 jury trial victories leading a team of experienced, skilled, and proven California school sexual assault attorneys

At DLG, we are fully committed to supporting every single school sexual assault survivor throughout the litigation process while fighting to get due justice for each and every crime. And our results speak for themselves, with outstanding reviews and a number of recent multi-million dollar victories, including:

If you’ve been victimized by a sexual predator at school, DLG’s SAJE Team is here to help. We’ll fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable and you secure justice.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

Contact us today at 818-322-4056 for a free, confidential, and obligation free consultation with one of our dedicated school sexual assault lawyers. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about the litigation process (including how long it may take to reach a settlement and how much your overall claim may be worth).

DLG’s No Win/No Fee Guarantee means we never charge a penny upfront. You pay nothing for our expert legal services until after we’ve successfully recovered a maximum financial damages award for your school sexual assault case.

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