Mar 28, 2023
A Los Angeles man has been arrested and accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl at an Orange County public library last week. The suspect is also alleged to have exposed himself to the minor.
In a press release, the Irvine Police Department confirmed that Christopher Eduard, 53, was arrested Friday in connection with the alleged sexual assault which took place in the children’s section of the Orange County Public Libraries Irvine Heritage Park branch. The girl was reportedly looking at books when Eduard approached her. He proceeded to engage the victim by asking her to help him film a video.
“Eduard gave the victim his cell phone and held cue cards for her to read aloud. During the incident, Eduard exposed himself and assaulted the 9-year-old,” Irvine Police said.
Police indicated that the victim’s mother was also inside the library at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the area and located a vehicle that was associated with the suspect – a green, 2019 Kia Soul.
Further investigations by detectives led to Eduard’s identification. Eduard was arrested by law enforcement on March 24 near his home in Los Angeles. During the execution of a search warrant, evidence was located linking him to the crime, according to the Irvine Police Department’s press release.
“It is deeply concerning,” Irvine Police Department Lieutenant Bill Bingham said, according to ABC 7. “In the detective’s review of the video, they observed the suspect milling about the library for some period of time prior to him engaging in contact with the victim in this case.”
Bingham said the alleged library sexual predator faces the following charges:
Police released the following physical description of Eduard:
The Los Angeles Times reported that Eduard was released Saturday on bond.
Irvine Police detectives have indicated they believe Eduard may be responsible for other child sex crimes.
“There’s a great distance between Los Angeles where he lives and Irvine and we are concerned that he may have engaged in this behavior with other victims who may not have reported it to police,” Bingham said.
Anyone with information about the sexual assault incident at Orange County Public Libraries Irvine Heritage Park branch, or Eduard’s connection to other incidents, is urged to please contact Detective Nate Ridlon at email@example.com.
The California Department of Justice confirms that in 2019, there were 9,020 reported cases of child abuse or neglect in California involving allegations of sexual abuse. However, as that figure only includes reported cases, it is widely believed to be an undercount, and that a significant number of child sexual abuse incidents actually go unreported every year in California.
Recently, California has been the focus of several high-profile sexual abuse cases involving schools. A Los Angeles Times investigation published in 2018 found that at least 600 cases of sexual misconduct were reported in K-12 schools in California over a five-year period. The report confirmed that many of these cases involved teachers and other school employees who were accused of inappropriate behavior with students – ranging from sexual assault to harassment.
However, as is believed to be the case with underreporting of child sexual abuse in California, countless incidents of school sexual abuse are believed to never be reported to law enforcement or publicly disclosed.
In a recent blog, Dordulian Law Group noted that a study conducted by United Educators, an insurance and risk management company focused on schools and colleges, found that school districts across the United States paid out major damages awards and settlements of $1 million or more last year for lawsuits related to sexual misconduct, crimes, and discrimination.
Some of the troubling school sexual abuse statistics uncovered include:
Furthermore, in 2022, several California school districts were ordered to pay damages or settled lawsuits stemming from allegations that administrators did not act quickly enough to investigate employees who had been accused of sexually abusing students:
“Half a billion dollars or more, I don’t care how big the institution is. That’s game changing, and could be institution-destroying, depending on the fiscal strength of that institution and the [insurance] coverage they may have,” Bryan Elie, vice president of underwriting and product development for United Educators, told Education Week (the publication that released the report). “Regardless, it’s taxing, and that’s an impact that’s going to be felt for a while.“
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately one in four girls and one in 13 boys experience sexual abuse at some point during their childhood.
Additionally, the following nationwide child sexual abuse statistics have been confirmed:
If you or someone you know has been victimized by child sexual abuse in California, you have rights under the law and may be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking to recover compensation for damages.
Depending on the circumstances of your child sexual abuse case, the experienced attorneys at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) will fight aggressively on your behalf to secure all applicable damages through either a cash settlement or verdict:
DLG was founded by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who has obtained more than 100 jury trial victories and recovered over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts on behalf of survivors. For more than 25 years, Dordulian has been fighting for justice on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse.
DLG offers free and confidential child sexual abuse consultations. When you sit down with a DLG childhood sex abuse attorney, you will have an opportunity ask questions, discuss your legal options in detail, and receive an estimate for how long it may take to reach a cash settlement.
A dedicated member of DLG’s SAJE Team (Sexual Abuse Justice Experts) will advise you on whether or not pursuing a claim is an option and also provide an approximate value for how much your case may be worth in terms of a final settlement or verdict against your abuser.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.