Eight Women Allege Abuse against Anaheim School District

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Eight women who say they were sexually assaulted while students at Fremont and Sycamore junior high schools filed an amended complaint in Orange County Superior Court against the Anaheim Union High School District, their attorney said today.

The lawsuit filed Monday alleged that band teacher Richard Elgas had sexual relationships with current and former students who were 12 to 17 years old going back to 1973.

One plaintiff alleges she was molested by Elgas while at Fremont Junior High School from about 1973 through 1976, another claims she was molested from about 1975 through 1977 at Fremont, a third alleges the abuse happened at Fremont between 1977 through 1983.

A fourth victim said she was sexually harassed and molested in 1986 at Sycamore Junior High, a fifth said she was sexually harassed from about 1989 through 1991 at Sycamore, a sixth said it happened at Sycamore from about 1989 through 1991, and a seventh alleged she was molested at Sycamore between 1989 through 1991, and the eighth victim said she was harassed and molested by the band teacher in 1998 at Sycamore.

Three of the women say they were impregnated, the lawsuit alleges.

“Despite Richard Elgas making virtually no attempt to keep his illegal sexual relationships hidden from the public and evidence that at least one staff member of AUHSD knew of his sexual misconduct as far back as 1978, AUHSD did absolutely nothing to protect the students they were entrusted to educate from the numerous sexual predators they employed,'' their attorney Michael Carney said.

“Unfortunately, these eight brave women we represent are likely only the tip of the iceberg. We have every reason to believe there were many others.''

There was no immediate response to a message sent to the school district seeking comment.

Elgas retired in 2003 after a nearly 40-year career and died in 2017, according to Carney.

Photo: Getty Images

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