School Sexual Abuse Attorneys

If your child was sexually abused at school by a teacher, coach, fellow
classmate, or another type of predator, bringing a civil lawsuit with DLG’s dedicated
team of attorneys can help your family secure justice as well as financial compensation.

School Sexual Abuse Attorneys

What You Should Know About Sexual Abuse in Schools

As a parent, when you send your child to school, there’s an implied understanding that it’s a safe place where students will receive quality education and be free from harm. Sadly, California schools are embroiled in sexual abuse scandals at an alarming rate. In fact, parents may not be aware of just how common sexual abuse is in our community’s schools.

School Sexual Abuse

If your child was sexually abused at school by a teacher, coach, fellow classmate, or another type of predator, bringing a civil lawsuit with Dordulian Law Group’s dedicated team of attorneys can help your family secure justice as well as financial compensation. Founded by former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian, we offer survivors of school sexual abuse proven and aggressive legal representation. We believe survivors and fight tirelessly for justice on their behalf.

We’re Here to Help Families Impacted by California School Sexual Abuse

Any type of sexual contact with a minor is illegal – in California, children under 18 are unable to ever give consent. Unfortunately, sexual abuse can happen in many different settings, including schools.

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is led by Sam Dordulian, an experienced attorney with more than 100 jury trial victories and over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts recovered for clients like you. Dordulian created the SAJE Team (Sexual Abuse Justice Experts) to offer victims of school sex crimes access to not only the very best legal representation, but also to a four-tiered support network of professionals who are available 24/7.

DJG’s SAJE Team features:

  1. Case leads: Sam Dordulian and his team of proven California school sexual abuse attorneys
  2. Mental health lead: A licensed, in-house clinical therapist with more than 15 years’ experience helping survivors
  3. Investigative lead: A retired LADP sex crimes detective, Moses Castillo, serves as our in-house Chief Investigator on all school sexual abuse cases
  4. Support lead: A licensed and nationally accredited victim advocate who has been dedicated to helping survivors for more than a decade

When your child is victimized by school sexual abuse, choosing the very best attorneys with the experience you need for peace of mind throughout the legal process is critical. Contact a member of the DLG SAJE Team today for a free and confidential consultation by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM.

Our California school sexual abuse attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that you will never be charged any legal fees until we win your case. Our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means there’s never a bill until after we’ve successfully obtained maximum financial compensation for your school sex abuse case.

What is School Sexual Abuse Under California Law?

California law defines child sexual abuse as any act that involves minors, as they are never able to consent. Sexual abuse can include physical acts like sexual assault, but it can also encompass non-physical acts like exploitation.

Examples may include:

Physical Sexual Assault: The legal definition for sexual abuse includes a wide range of horrifying acts such as rape, incest, oral sex, and sodomy. Sexual assault may include penetration with objects, fingers or genitals; sexual contact between the genitals and mouths of two people or between the genitals and mouths of another person; intentional touching of intimate areas or genitals in front of children.

Sexual Exploitation: The sexual exploitation of children includes depicting minors engaged in acts that are defined as sexual. Adults who encourage, coerce, or convince a child to take part in nude modeling or prostitution or assist others with a live sexual show are also included. It is also illegal to coerce a guardian of a minor into allowing the child’s participation.

Commercial Exploitation: This often involves sexual trafficking, as well as using shelter, food, or money to convince a child to perform sexual acts.

Contact a school sex abuse lawyer from DLG who is experienced in these types of cases if your child informs you of any kind of sex crime. You may be able file a suit even if your case is different from the ones above. When schools fail to take action, they should be sued and held responsible for their negligence.

Common Examples of California School Sexual Abuse

Discovering that a child has been sexually abused at school can be one of the most harrowing experiences a parent ever faces. But you can make the difficult situation more bearable by hiring a dedicated DLG lawyer to represent you. Our SAJE Team will provide you with personalized guidance and advice throughout every step of the legal process. You’ll receive one-on-one attention, answers to all your legal questions, and assistance from an experienced law firm with proven results. Your legal experience and the outcome of your lawsuit can be greatly improved by choosing the best attorney.

What is School Sexual Abuse Under California Law?

As your school sex abuse attorneys, we will investigate your case thoroughly. We will gather evidence in order to bring a lawsuit against the California school district or school for failing to protect your child from sexual abuse. Additionally, we can provide you with highly-qualified experts to testify in your case if needed. We can represent you at hearings and meetings and negotiate on your behalf to achieve a fair and maximized resolution. Moreover, we’re not afraid to go to trial – Sam Dordulian and his team have secured more than 100 courtroom victories, and we have the ability to bring a case of California school sexual abuse to court if necessary.

Some of the more common types of school sexual abuse our attorneys handle include:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Sexual battery
  • Child pornography (including exposing students to any type of sexual content)
  • Creating a hostile, intimidating, or unsafe environment for the victim
  • Groping, fondling, kissing, caressing, or hugging
  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual exploitation of a student
  • Sexual grooming
  • An inappropriate romantic relationship
  • Internet sex crimes (including deepfakes, image-based sexual abuse, etc.)
  • Penetration
  • Sexual grooming
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Oral copulation
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Sexualized jokes or innuendos
  • Sodomy
  • Statutory rape
  • Touching of a student’s private parts
  • Verbal sexual harassment

Sadly, any student of any age or background can become a victim of school sexual abuse. But you and your family have a dedicated and fierce legal advocate in Dordulian Law Group.

Signs of School Sexual Abuse in Children

Most of the warning signs for child sexual abuse below are provided by NGOs and government-funded organizations, such as Darkness To Light, Stop It Now, and RAINN – DLG’s partner organization (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

Below we have separated the warning signs of child sexual abuse into three categories: behavioral, emotional, and physical.

Physical Warning signs of Child Sexual Abuse:

  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Signs of trauma in the genital region (including pain, burning, or itching)
  • Unexpected or unwanted pregnancy
  • Bloody underwear/diapers
  • Underwear torn
  • Inflammation, bruising or swelling in the genital region
  • Infections of the urinary tract or yeast infections
  • Difficulty in urinating or moving the bowels
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Accidents of wetting and soiling unrelated to toilet-training

Behavioral Warning Signs of Child Sexual Abuse:

  • Acting younger than they are (e.g. bed wetting, thumb sucking, etc.)
  • Night terrors and nightmares
  • Excessive knowledge or talk of sexual topics or inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Fear of being touched
  • Taking on the role of a caregiver or be protective towards younger children
  • Changing hygiene habits
  • Not wanting to bathe or wearing very baggy/unkempt clothing
  • Easily startled
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD, anxiety, irritability, can’t concentrate)
  • Changes in school (aggressive behavior or timidity, frequent absences, feeling sick or unable to attend classes)
  • Run away from home
  • Self-harm (cutting, burning)
  • Shame with menstruation and puberty
  • Avoiding certain people and places
  • Suicidal thoughts (particularly in adolescents)
  • Over involvement/achievement (e.g. obsession with grades or perfection in sports or school)
  • Substance abuse
  • Keep secrets and avoid talking as much as you normally do
  • Fear of being away from primary caregivers or not wanting to leave certain people alone, especially if it is a new behavior
  • Compliant behavior that is excessive
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior for a child’s age
  • Spending a lot of time alone

Emotional Warning Signs of Child Sexual Abuse:

  • Changes in eating habits
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Distrust for parents or relatives who had previously been close to the victim
  • Changes in personality or mood (such as an increase in aggression)
  • Powerlessness or a decrease in self-confidence
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Fear or excessive worry
  • Depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety
  • Anger or rage increased
  • Unknown health issues such as headaches and stomach aches
  • Loss of interest in school or activities
  • Fear of the dark or nightmares
  • Self-harming behaviors

The above list of warning signs that could indicate child sexual abuse may appear long and overwhelming to parents at first. But it’s important to remember that the more you know and the more educated you are, the better equipped and more likely you will be in identifying these signs and protecting your children.

You can reach our Glendale, California, school sexual abuse lawyers online at or over the phone at 866-GO-SEE-SAM.

California School Districts We Seve

Dordulian Law Group’s school sexual abuse attorneys serve victims and their families throughput all of California. Some of the school districts that have recently been hit by legal action for sex abuse scandals include:

  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Glendale Unified School District
  • Redlands Unified School District
  • Anaheim Union High School District
  • Bakersfield City School District
  • Barstow Unified School District
  • Irvine Unified School District
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Orange Unified School District
  • Palm Springs Unified School District
  • Rowland Heights Unified School District
  • Sacramento City Unified School District
  • San Bernardino City Unified School District
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • Santa Barbara Unified School District
  • Santa Clara Unified School District
  • Sonoma Valley Unified School District
  • Torrance Unified School District
Fighting For Victims' Rights
Licensed Clinical Therapist On Staff
Former Deputy District Attorney

In fact, a 2023 report from Education Week was recently published after a study conducted by United Educators uncovered troubling statistics related to school sex abuse settlements. Entitled “Large Loss Report of 2023,” the study from United Educators confirmed the following statistics:

  • 69 publicly reported damages awards and settlements of $1 million or more among K-12 schools and colleges were recorded in 2022.
  • That figure – the total number of damages awards and settlements – was up from 38 which equaled $1 million or more in 2021.

But as the Education Week article noted, those statistics are likely an underestimate of the true number of million dollar school sexual misconduct settlements given that the data is only pulled from publicly available records and reports.

There are likely some settlements and jury awards that aren’t public,” Education Week said.

The following factors were cited as reasons for the increase in school sex abuse lawsuits and multimillion dollar settlements:

  • A growing tendency by sexual abuse victims to hold institutions accountable for how they address abuse
  • State law changes that allow more childhood sexual abuse survivors to sue
  • A greater mistrust of educational institutions which has spurred more lawsuits and larger jury awards

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

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

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has paid out more than $300 million in sex abuse settlements over the past few years. Some of those major damages awards on behalf of victims included:

  • $140 Million: This amount was awarded to 82 survivors of child sexual abuse who were victimized by Mark Berndt, a single teacher at Miramonte Elementary School. Since 1983, school administrators have largely ignored several complaints of inappropriate behavior from both parents and children. The abuse continued for over 30 years. Berndt currently serves a 25-year sentence to life in prison for his crimes. He may have abused more than 100 children.
  • $88 Million: LAUSD paid the amount in order to settle 30 cases involving child sexual abuse at two elementary schools. De La Torre Elementary had 18 cases and Telfair Elementary 12; both were a result of sexual abuse. The district, as with the abuse at Miramonte elementary school, had information about the abusive teachers and did not stop them. De La Torre’s settlement totaled $58 million, while Telfair’s settlement was $40 million.
  • $6.9 Million: The highest payout to date for a single victim, the damages were issued after the abuse took place at Queen Anne Place Primary. In this case, a teacher in the fifth grade began sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy starting in October 2008. In July 2009, the abuse continued until the boy told his father about it. Forrest Stobbe, the predator teacher, was arrested and convicted of his crimes. He is currently serving 16 years in prison.

Ready to get justice for your school sexual abuse case? Our team is standing by 24/7 to help you take the first step and support you the entire way.

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Free California School Sexual Abuse Lawyer Consultations

If you are a survivor of school sexual abuse, filing a civil claim with Dordulian Law Group (DLG) against your perpetrator can be a means of securing justice on your own terms and recovering the financial compensation you deserve. A civil lawsuit is separate from any criminal proceedings that may be brought against a sexual predator by the District Attorney’s Office.
Contact our school sex abuse attorneys today for a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation. We will review your case and provide you with all available legal options. We are committed to fighting tirelessly to secure all applicable damages for past harm endured by a teacher, principal, administrator, student, counselor, or coach:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Medical care/treatment costs (past and future)
  • Counseling or therapy expenses (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma/psychological harm
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Lost wages due to the sexual abuse
  • Lost earning capacity due to the sexual abuse
  • Punitive damages

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.

If you have questions about your school sexual abuse civil lawsuit, contact a member of DLG’s SAJE Team today for a confidential consultation at 866-GO-SEE-SAM.

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“They were very professional and fought hard for me. Two seperate cases and two seperate wins. Would highly recommend Dordulian Law Group and would hire them again if needed in the future.”
Lillie J.
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