Redlands Adventist Academy Teacher Accused of Sexual Battery by Female Students

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Redlands Seventh-day Adventist Private School Teacher Investigated for Sexual Assault

Redlands Seventh-day Adventist Private School Teacher Investigated for Sexual Assault

May 15, 2024

Redlands Police Department officials are conducting an investigation into allegations that a local private school teacher inappropriately touched at least five female students. The alleged victims are between 14 and 17, and the abuse is believed to have occurred over a three-year period (with the most recent incident occurring in April).

Officers responded to the Redlands Adventist Academy campus on May 7 after receiving reports of inappropriate contact between a teacher and multiple female students.

Law enforcement officials have not identified the teacher who is employed at the Seventh-day Adventist K-12 private school at 130 Tennessee Street. He was reportedly placed on administrative leave while the school conducts an internal investigation.

A separate criminal investigation into the private school teacher sexual assault allegations is being conducted by the Redlands Police Department. No arrests have been made at this time.

Police have indicated that there may be additional victims. Anyone with information regarding a possible sexual assault committed by a Redlands Adventist Academy teacher is urged to contact Redlands Police Department Detective Steve Truong at 909-798-7643.

Redlands Unified School District Plagued by Sexual Abuse Scandals

The Redlands Unified School District has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in sexual abuse settlements to survivors in recent years. Last month, the district entered into an agreement with the federal government over repeated failures to properly address and respond to reports of sexual misconduct against students (primarily committed by school employees).

In a 20-page letter issued to the Redlands Unified School District, government officials noted:

  • A systemic failure to create or maintain sufficient records of its responses to sexual harassment complaints to demonstrate compliance with Title IX
  • No action was taken by district officials in 74% of the 35 incidents reviewed involving complaints of sexual assault or harassment against students from 2017 to 2020
  • A failure to address the effects of harassing conduct on targeted students where necessary and to prevent recurrence of the harassment

As a result, Redlands Unified School District entered into a resolution agreement with the Office of Civil Rights.

Investigation Reveals Rampant Pattern of Sexual Abuse at Redlands Unified

A Southern California News Group investigative report uncovered troubling findings related to the systemic nature of sexual misconduct at Redlands Unified which has occurred for decades.

The report’s findings included:

  • The school district failed to identify and remove predator teachers despite repeated allegations from students
  • Police allege school officials attempted to destroy evidence and obstruct their investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct
  • Rumors related to a specific predator teacher – Laura Whitehurst – were heard for years, but no action was taken until she had a student’s baby (Redlands Unified recently settled one claim against Whitehurst for $2.25 million)
  • Drug use, ‘weird fetishes,‘ and child porn were all reported involving one teacher, Joel Koonce (who was video recorded having three-way sex with 16-year-olds, according to investigators)
  • The Koonce case led to an $8.5 million settlement for victims (reached before a lawsuit was even filed)
  • A Redlands High School theater technician had an intimate three-year relationship with a female student beginning when she was 15

According to one report, Redlands Unified ranks 9th on a list of high-risk schools.

How to File Your Redlands Adventist Academy Teacher Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

If you’ve been victimized by a Redlands Adventist Academy teacher, justice can be pursued by filing a civil claim with Dordulian Law Group (D Law Group). Victims of teacher sexual abuse and misconduct can endure lifelong trauma. Accordingly, a civil lawsuit can be a means of securing justice through financial compensation for a number of damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Psychological distress/emotional trauma
  • Counseling and therapy expense
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Punitive damages

When considering whether or not to pursue a civil claim against a school or district – whether Redlands Unified, Redlands Adventist Academy, or another institution – choosing the best and highly-experienced sexual abuse attorney is the most important decision you will make. Results, experience, and dedication to victims of sexual abuse are some of the most important factors that you should look for when searching for the best lawyer to handle your case.

At D Law Group, our founder and president is a former sex crimes prosecutor who, after securing countless life sentences against sexual predators, now fights for justice on behalf of survivors in civil court.

Sam Dordulian is a member of the National Leadership Council for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence nonprofit organization.

Dordulian created D Law Group to be a unique California firm offering survivors of Redlands Seventh-day Adventist school abuse exceptional legal representation as well as added resources through our four-tiered SAJE Team (Sexual Abuse Justice Experts):

  • Tier I: Retired LAPD sex crimes detective and in-house investigator, Moses Castillo
  • Tier II: In-house licensed clinical therapist
  • Tier III: In-house victim advocate
  • Tier IV: Sam Dordulian and his team of top-rated and proven school sex abuse lawyers

Dordulian and the entire SAJE Team are available to you 24/7. If you’d like to discuss your school sexual abuse case with a member of our team, reach out today for a free and confidential attorney consultation by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM.

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.

We’ve helped survivors like you secure justice through countless multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts. When you’re ready to pursue justice against your predator teacher, the D Law Group team is ready to aggressively fight on your behalf.


Go See Sam