A woman who taught vocal lessons at Glendale Adventist Academy in California was sentenced on Wednesday February 27, 2013, to one year in county jail for committing lewd acts on a male student from the school. Valerie Jane Gonzales, a 29 year-old married mother of one from El Monte, pleaded no contest last year to one felony count of lewd acts on a child after it was discovered she had been engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student. In addition to a year in jail, she must also serve five years of formal probation, one year of sex abuse counseling, and register as a sex offender for life.
Gonzales was arrested in October 2012 after the parents of the student reported the relationship, which is said to have begun in June of 2012. Before pleading a lesser charge, she was initially charged with four counts of felony lewd acts on a child and four felony counts of oral copulation of a person under the age of 16. Police say Gonzales admitted that some of the sexual acts occurred after class while others occurred in El Monte, where she resides. The age and name of the student, who lives in Glendale, was not released but sources say he is moving forward with his live and focusing on his schoolwork.
We expect our children to be safe while in the classroom. While most teachers do everything they can to help our children learn and grow, there are the few that slip through the cracks with ulterior motives. When those teachers take advantage of the vulnerability and trust of their students, those students face a long road of emotional, psychological, and sometimes physical recovery. Child sexual abuse victims are represented by Orange County attorney Jeff Roberts, who has represented clients who have been victims of teacher sexual abuse. The school districts that employ sexual predator teachers are responsible to compensate child sexual abuse victims for personal injuries, emotional distress, and medical bills for the abuse they allow to happen in our schools.