Police Seeking Survivors After Sherman Oaks Teacher Arrested for Child Molestation

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Sherman Oaks Teacher Arrested for Sexual Abuse; More Survivors Sought by Police

Sherman Oaks Teacher Arrested for Sexual Abuse; More Survivors Sought by Police

Mar 18, 2022

Police are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying potential sexual abuse survivors after arresting a teacher at Ivy Bound Academy in Sherman Oaks, California, on suspicion of child molestation, according to a news release.

Sherman Oaks Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Child Molestation

Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department, Juvenile Division, Abused Child Section arrested Samantha Arizabal on March 15 following reports of alleged ongoing inappropriate sexual conduct while she was employed at the school.

Arizabal had been working at Ivy Bound Academy since 2020, according to a KTLA report.

Following the investigation’s findings, the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney. After reviewing the allegations, District Attorney George Gascon’s Office filed multiple felony charges against Samantha Arizabal.

LAPD sex crime detectives are urging anyone who may be a victim of Arizabal or has additional information regarding the Ivy Bound Academy teacher to contact authorities via one of the following options:

  • Calling the Juvenile Division Detectives directly at 818-374-5415
  • Calling 877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247) during non-business hours or on weekends

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers line at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to the Crime Stoppers website.

Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu.

How Does California Law Define Child Sexual Abuse?

Children are considered minors under California law. As a result, a child is never able to give consent, and any sexual act involving a minor is considered abuse. Under the law, childhood sexual abuse can entail:

California law broadly defines child sexual assault as including any sexual act, such as:

  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Incest
  • Oral sex

Furthermore, the following actions constitute a sex crime under California law:

  • Sexual penetration with objects, fingers, or genitals
  • Contact between genitals or the mouth of one person and genitals of another
  • Intentional touching of the genitals or intimate areas
  • Masturbation in the presence of a child

Under California law, sexual exploitation of a child can also include depicting a minor in any of the aforementioned acts that are considered sexual assault. Any adult who promotes, uses, or coerces a child into participating in (or encouraging others to participate in) the following actions is committing sexual exploitation under California law:

  • Nude modeling
  • Prostitution
  • Any kind of live sexual performance

Furthermore, the law explicitly forbids any adult from coercing a child’s guardian into allowing such sexual exploitation or assault.

How Common is California Teacher or School Sexual Abuse?

A recent study issued by the U.S. Education Department confirmed that reports of sexual violence in schools rose more than 50% between the 2015 and 2016 school year. Such a dramatic increase in school sexual abuse, including crimes committed by teachers, has caused parents to be rightfully outraged, with many becoming more vigilant and taking steps to keep their children safe.

In recent months, Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) blog has featured countless stories of local educators and coaches being either charged or convicted of sex crimes against children.

Some of those recent Los Angeles-area teacher or coach sexual abuse crimes include:

California AB 218 Currently Allows Any Survivor of Child Sex Abuse to File a Claim

For California childhood sex crimes, the statute of limitations is temporarily paused under Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218). AB 218, which took effect on January 1, 2020, tolls (pauses) the statute of limitations on all childhood sex crimes through the end of 2022.

In other words, all survivors of childhood sexual abuse or assault may currently file civil claims seeking financial compensation until December 31, 2022. However, as of January 1, 2023, the standard statute of limitations will resume, and survivors who did not file claims will likely be left without any legal recourse.

Additionally, California AB 218 includes a treble damages clause which gives the courts latitude to triple financial damages awards in cases where a cover-up is proven. For example, if you are a sexual abuse survivor who was victimized through a systemic cover-up (at either an individual or institutional level), and that malfeasance was able to be proven in court, a $1 million damages award could theoretically be increased to $3 million under the AB 218 treble damages clause.

AB 218’s treble damages clause was included in the legislation in an effort to severely punish bad actors who participated in systemic cover-ups, often over the course of several decades. Such cover-ups in organizations including the Boy Scouts of America and Catholic Church have impacted countless innocent survivors, but AB 218 offers all victims an opportunity at justice.

For additional information on California AB 218 and how it offers survivors of childhood sexual abuse an unprecedented opportunity at justice, please visit our recent blog post.

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Teacher/School Sexual Abuse Lawyer

California childhood sexual abuse civil lawsuits may be brought in an effort to recover financial compensation for various types of losses. Depending on the circumstances of childhood sex crime, compensatory damages may be pursued and recovered through a civil claim.

Examples of some common damages that may be secured through a California childhood sexual assault or abuse civil claim include:

  • Counseling or therapy expenses
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological distress
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Hospital or medical expenses

Although children impacted by sexual abuse are currently eligible to file civil claims regardless of when a crime occurred, the statute of limitations is different for adult survivors of sexual violence. For adult sexual assault survivors, the California statute of limitations on sex crimes allows you to file a civil claim up to 10 years after an incident. Moreover, the statute of limitations allows for a three-year window in civil claims where sexual assaults lead to the discovery of a psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

DLG is a leading California-based sexual assault firm representing survivors across the United States. We offer survivors a unique type of legal representation which includes a four-tiered team of professionals known as the SAJE Team. DLG’s SAJE Team Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, is a retired LAPD detective who worked primarily in the elite Abused Child Unit handling some of the city’s most high-profile sex crime cases.

Led by Sam Dordulian, DLG’s experienced childhood sexual assault lawyers have helped countless survivors secure maximum financial damages awards.

Some of our recent sexual assault civil lawsuit victories include:

For a free and confidential consultation regarding your childhood sexual assault or abuse civil claim, contact a member of DLG’s SAJE Team today at 818-322-4056. Our sex crime attorneys have helped victims recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record.


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