Pasadena Middle School Teacher Accused of Molesting Student, Sending Her Child Porn

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Pasadena Police Arrest McKinley Middle School Teacher Suspected of Molesting Student

Pasadena Police Arrest McKinley Middle School Teacher Suspected of Molesting Student

Mar 5, 2023

A Pasadena middle school teacher was arrested last week on suspicion of molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Police said the suspect – Michael Joseph Medina, 34, of Glendale – is an eighth-grade history teacher at McKinley School. Pasadena Police arrested Medina on March 1 at the McKinley campus on South Oak Knoll Avenue, according to a Patch report.

Police detained Medina on campus and the suspect was subsequently booked on the following charges:

  • Lewd acts with a child
  • Oral copulation with a minor
  • Lewd acts with a minor under 14
  • Sending harmful matter to seduce a minor
  • Possession of child pornography

According to a report from the Pasadena Star-News, in a Thursday statement, Superintendent Brian McDonald indicated:

“The Pasadena Unified School District became aware of the allegations on Wednesday and reported them to police.”

“The statement and an email sent to parents by Merian Stewart, the principal at McKinley, didn’t reveal how school officials learned of the allegations,” the Star-News said.

In a statement, Lieutenant Keith Gomez confirmed that during the investigation, detectives from the Pasadena Police Department discovered:

  • Evidence of child pornography
  • Evidence that Medina sexually assaulted the 14-year-old student

The statement from Gomez further noted that the investigation involved detectives from the department’s Special Victim’s Unit:

  • Conducting interviews
  • Examining digital evidence
  • Executing search warrants at two locations

Some of the alleged crimes happened before the girl was 14, according to Gomez. The victim was one of Medina’s students, but police did not confirm if the alleged molestations occurred on the Kindergarten through 8th grade campus.

Patch reported that Medina is currently released on bond.
The Pasadena Star-News reported that when reached by a reporter Thursday morning, Medina said:

“According to my attorney, I can’t say anything right now.”

The Pasadena Unified School District placed Medina on a leave of absence pending the outcome of the police investigation, Superintendent McDonald said.

“The allegations are deeply disturbing and if proven to be true, the district will act promptly and take appropriate action,” McDonald told the Pasadena Star-News. “Our main focus is to support our students and staff during this difficult time.”

A spokeswoman for Pasadena Unified said Medina began working for the district in August.

“Before working for the district, all employees are subject to a screening, including fingerprinting and background checks by the California Department of Justice,” Superintendent McDonald said.

Given Medina’s continuous access to children, police have indicated that there may be unidentified victims. Anyone with further information regarding a sex crime committed by Michael Joseph Medina is urged to contact Pasadena Police officials at 626-744-4241.

Anonymous tips may be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-8477.

Was Your Child Sexually Abused by a Teacher, Coach, or Clergy Member?

Under California law, any sexual act involving a minor is considered a crime (as no child can legally give consent).

Sexual abuse may involve either sexual assault or exploitation, but the legal definition includes a range of traumatizing and odious acts:

  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Oral sex
  • Sodomy
  • Penetration with objects (fingers, genitals, foreign objects)
  • Sexual contact between genitals
  • Intentional touching of genitals or intimate areas
  • Masturbation in the presence of a child

Parents are encouraged to remain vigilant if they suspect their child is being abused. Some of the common warning signs to look out for include:

  • Changes in eating routines
  • New and strange fears
  • Bedwetting
  • Worsening grades
  • Sleep regression
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Sudden maturity or regression

Older children and teens may exhibit the following traits after sexual abuse:

  • Excessive cleaning
  • Development of depression, apathy, or exhaustion
  • Trying to look unattractive through uncleanliness or gaining weight
  • Changes in behavior: Becoming aggressive, overly compliant, or antisocial
  • Self-consciousness
  • Fear of adults
  • Eating disorders
  • Promiscuity
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Worsening grades

If you suspect your child is being victimized by a teacher, coach, clergy member, or relative, contact Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) dedicated child sexual abuse attorneys for a free consultation by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM. DLG was founded by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office who has garnered over 100 jury trial victories and helped obtain life sentences against some of the community’s most loathsome sexual predators.

Dordulian and his team of aggressive and proven school sexual abuse lawyers are standing by 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and help you and your family take the first step toward securing justice for a sexual abuse case.

You May be Owed Financial Compensation for Your School Sexual Abuse Claim

Under California law, survivors of school sexual abuse may pursue civil claims (lawsuits) against the school, the school district, and the teacher or employee who committed the actual crimes (either individually or collectively). Depending on the circumstances of your child’s individual case, DLG’s California school sexual abuse attorneys will work tirelessly to hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions and/or negligence.

Damages that may be awarded in a school sexual abuse claim include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Psychological harm
  • Counseling or therapy/mental health expenses (past and future)
  • Medical care costs (past and future)
  • Punitive damages

To file your child’s school sexual abuse claim, contact DLG today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM.

How Much is My School Sexual Abuse Case Worth?

The total value of your school sexual abuse lawsuit will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • The extent of liability on the part of the perpetrator
  • Whether the school or other employees were aware of the abuse and failed to report it
  • Whether a cover-up occurred
  • The survivor’s recollection of the incident(s)
  • The skill and ability of your school sexual abuse attorney

School districts around the United States have been forced to pay exceedingly large sexual abuse settlements and verdicts in recent years:

  • In 2022, 69 damages awards and settlements of $1 million or more among K-12 schools and colleges were confirmed.
  • The total number of damages awards and settlements – 69 – was up from 38 which equaled $1 million or more in 2021.

In 2022, multiple California school districts were ordered to pay damages or settled lawsuits stemming from allegations that administrators did not act properly to investigate employees accused of sexually abusing students:

  • Union School District
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Riverside Unified School District
  • Pasadena Unified School District

How Do I File a California School Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

Examples of recent California school sexual abuse lawsuits which were settled and garnered major headlines include:

  • A San Jose school was ordered to pay $7.5 million to five men who were sexually abused by their elementary school teacher in the late 1970s and early ’80s.
  • Survivors of a former Sun Valley high school wrestling coach were awarded a $52 million settlement in October 2022. The complaint alleged that the Los Angeles Unified School District knew of prior sexual misconduct and did nothing about it.
  • A jury awarded $102.5 million in March 2022 to two women who sued a Northern California school district. The complaint alleged that officials failed to stop a middle school teacher from sexually grooming and abusing them as minors.
  • In April 2022, a $13.7 million settlement was reached with the Riverside Unified School District after 10 students alleged sexual abuse by former school technology aide Fernando Figueroa. The survivors ranged between the ages of 7 and 11 at the time of the abuse.
  • An $11 million school sex abuse settlement was reached between Redlands Unified School District and seven survivors. The plaintiffs, initially named in four separate lawsuits, accused a former Clement Middle School teacher, Sean Ramiro Lopez, of various sex crimes (Lopez is currently serving a 74-year prison sentence for sexual abuse).

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.

To discuss your child’s school sexual abuse case with a proven, aggressive, and trusted attorney, contact DLG today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM. Our 98% winning record and history of obtaining more than $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts will give you and your family peace of mind throughout the entire litigation process. We’ve helped countless survivors secure multi-million dollar settlements for their sexual abuse and assault cases, and we will fight just as hard to obtain the justice and maximum financial compensation you deserve.

Go See Sam