Christopher Rodriguez, Teacher at UCLA Child-Care Center, Arrested for Alleged Sexual Abuse

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Christopher Rodriguez, UCLA Child-Care Center Teacher, Arrested on Suspicion of Sex Abuse

Christopher Rodriguez, UCLA Child-Care Center Teacher, Arrested on Suspicion of Sex Abuse

Feb 23, 2024

A teacher at a UCLA child-care center has been arrested and booked on five misdemeanor sex crimes charges. The Los Angeles Times reported that university officials alerted parents of the arrest Wednesday.

The suspect, Christopher Rodriguez, had worked for the school’s University Village Early Child Care and Education (ECE) Center from 2001 to 2020, the UCLA Daily Bruin confirmed. Rodriguez also worked at the UCLA Krieger Center from 1999 to 2001, and then again from 2020 to his leave in 2023.

UCLA’s website indicated that Early Child Care and Education Center locations such as Krieger and University Village, “provide care for children ages two months to six years for UCLA-affiliated families.”

The child sexual abuse charges against UCLA’s Christopher Rodriguez include:

  • Sexual battery (two counts)
  • Battery
  • False imprisonment
  • Willful cruelty to a child

UCLA’s Campus Police (UCPD) reportedly charged Rodriguez Wednesday, but he had been on official academic leave since December 18, 2023, after a Title IX investigation was initiated.

The UCLA Police Department confirmed through the Los Angeles Times that Rodriguez was arrested after other staff members reported seeing “concerning behavior.” The university also received reports of Rodriguez having “inappropriate contact with a minor student.”

Since being reported by his colleagues for various child sexual misconduct, UCLA officials confirmed Rodriguez has been on administrative leave.

In an email sent to ECE families, UCLA representatives asserted they had taken precautionary steps following Rodriguez’s arrest:

  • Currently providing a team of child psychologists for the children in its care
  • Changed the security gate codes at the child-care centers
  • Mandating staff members attend refresher workshops about their legal duty to report suspected abuse or neglect
  • Requesting additional UCPD patrol on the campus

“While we value and honor our commitment to an open and honest community, the sensitive nature of this situation limits what we are able to share with you,” UCLA wrote in its email to parents. “We also appreciate your respect for the privacy of the individuals involved.”

UCLA issued a statement to the Los Angeles Times calling the child sexual abuse allegations against Christopher Rodriguez “deeply concerning.”

“Assault or sexual harassment of any kind is reprehensible and intolerable. Our top priority is the well-being and safety of the children in our care,” the university said.

Parents Express Outrage After UCLA Child-Care Teacher Christopher Rodriguez Arrested on Suspicion of Sexual Abuse

The Los Angeles Times reported that, during a Thursday Zoom meeting attended by university officials and parents with children enrolled in Rodriguez’s class, frustrations were expressed and answers were demanded.

“But answers were not given,” one parent whose child was in Rodriguez’s class last year told the Times.

“There was basically just a lot of anger,” said one mother who asked to speak to the L.A. Times anonymously to protect her child’s identity. “Parents asked, ‘When was the complaint initially made? Why were people not notified?’ It was just a lot of circling. A lot of avoiding.”

The mother went on to tell the Times that, while she believed Rodriguez was “sometimes neglectful of the children,” she was shocked when the sexual abuse allegations against him were announced.

“We did not have any concerns about him committing any act of violence when he was a teacher,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

The Daily Bruin reported that during an internal town hall meeting the previous day, “multiple parents requested a private security guard to be present and for cameras to be installed around the campus.”
“ECE administrators said during the meeting that since the investigation is ongoing, they are unable to provide further details about the investigation. In an emailed statement [to the Daily Bruin], UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said the university is also unable to provide more information due to the ‘sensitive nature’ of the situation,” the student newspaper reported.

Vazquez also told the Daily Bruin that UCLA remains focused on the safety of children in the university’s ECE centers.

“We are aware that a teacher in the Early Care and Education program has been arrested following an investigation regarding inappropriate contact with a minor student. These allegations are deeply concerning, and assault or sexual harassment of any kind is reprehensible and intolerable,” Vasquez said in an email to the UCLA newspaper. “Our top priority is the well-being and safety of children in our care.

Previous Complaints from Parents Against UCLA’s Early Child Care and Education (ECE) Centers

The allegations of child sexual abuse against Christopher Rodriguez are not the first time that parents have expressed issues with the university’s Early Child Care and Education Centers.

In 2016, parents called on the university to conduct an investigation and place the program’s then-director on administrative leave. Allegations that the director had abruptly transferred teachers from classroom-to-classroom without considering the potential adverse effects on the children were cited when the parents demanded an official university investigation.

The Daily Bruin also published a report that same year noting that parents had issued complaints alleging Early Care and Education staff members had “grabbed children and left them unattended.”

Victims of UCLA ECE Center Child Sexual Abuse Deserve Justice

Suffering childhood sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that no one should ever have to endure. The long-term effects of such unspeakable abuse can include depression, anxiety, nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Victims and their families may wish to pursue civil justice in addition to any criminal charges that may be levied against the sexual predator (or, in the case of suspected perpetrator Christopher Rodriguez, the university).

Civil lawsuits can be a means of securing justice as well as financial damages for various types of harm endured by the victim:

  • Emotional anguish
  • Psychological trauma
  • Punitive damages
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Counseling or therapy expenses (past and future)
  • Medical care costs related to the abuse
  • Damage to reputation

If your child was victimized by a sexual predator, you have options under California law. As of 2024, the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse civil claims was removed through landmark legislation known as the Justice for Survivors Act (or AB 452). It can take victims of child sex abuse decades to feel ready to come forward and report past crimes. The new law ensures that all survivors will have their day in court.

In a 2023 interview with The Daily Californian, Dordulian Law Group’s founder and president, Sam Dordulian, expressed his total support for the new law.

It takes an extremely long time for children to be able to process what happened to them to be able to come out and tell their story,” Dordulian said. “If you put an arbitrary age like 40 or 26, or whatever age you pick, you are still going to limit a lot of people who are not ready to come forward and tell their story from ever getting justice.”

Dordulian added that while AB-452 is a “great first step” in both helping and protecting survivors of childhood sex abuse, many misconceptions and stigmas persist.

Justice is often a crucial piece missing from survivors’ stories,” Dordulian told The Daily Californian. “Survivors may go their entire life wondering if their experience was their fault and feeling as though they did something wrong. It is the validation from a judge, holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes, that significantly helps survivors emotionally and psychologically.”

Contact California’s Most Trusted and Proven Child Sexual Abuse Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is one of the nation’s leading child sex abuse firms. Founded by a former sex crimes prosecutor for Los Angeles County, DLG offers survivors and their families peace of mind and confidence throughout such a difficult time. We believe survivors and are ready to fight aggressively on their behalf to secure justice and maximum financial compensation for their cases.

Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Reach out to a DLG Los Angeles, California, child sexual abuse lawyer today for a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM. There is never any upfront fee for our expert UCLA child-care sexual abuse attorney legal services. You pay nothing until we’ve successfully obtained a maximum damages award for your case.

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