Teen Settles Suit Alleging Abuse by Charter School Employee

Hand and Gavel

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A lawsuit filed against a Boyle Heights charter school group on behalf of a teenage boy who alleges he was sexually molested by an employee in 2016 and 2017 has been settled, according to court papers filed by the plaintiff's attorneys.

The plaintiff is now 16 and is identified only as John A.R. Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that named Extera Public Schools and later After School All-Stars Los Angeles as defendants. No terms were divulged in the court papers filed Monday with Judge Theresa M. Traber notifying her of the accord.

The suit filed in May 2020 alleged Frank Salomon Hernandez molested the boy between May 2016 and June 2017 on campus. Hernandez allegedly also sent the boy "lewd and inappropriate coded messages" expressing his feelings for the child.

Hernandez is a former after-school coordinator at the Lorena Street Campus, which serves elementary school-age students in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. Extera's alleged indifference to Hernandez's interactions with minors "made it a virtual certainty" that the plaintiff and other minors "would be victimized," according to the suit.

The boy has suffered "extensive physical, psychological and emotional damage" because of the alleged abuses, the suit stated.

Extera should have known that Hernandez violated his role as an after- school coordinator and used his position to get access to children such as the plaintiff, the suit stated. Extera was also accused of concealing information about Hernandez's behavior from parents and failing to report relevant information to help bring him to justice.

In their court papers, Extera attorneys denied any wrongdoing or liability on the part of their client and said the boy's allegations were barred by the statute of limitations.

At the time of the alleged abuses, the boy participated in After School All-Stars' after-school program. When the organization hired Hernandez, he was provided with a copy of an employee handbook and also was given sexual harassment training, according to the ASAS attorneys' court papers.

ASAS first learned of the alleged abuse by Hernandez in June 2017 and prior to that, the organization's senior operations and grant manager, Carlos Espino, had observed nothing out of the ordinary with him, according to the ASAS attorneys' court papers.

Hernandez pleaded no contest in February 2019 to charges of willful harm or injury to a child and soliciting or engaging in lewd or dissolute conduct in public and was sentenced to four years probation, including 60 days in jail, the suit stated. He also was ordered to register as a sex offender, according to the suit.

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