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Former student sues San Diego County private school over sex abuse

Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 20:42:20-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A former student of the Francis Parker School said Friday that she was sexually abused by a former teacher and is now filing a suit against the school.

Although it's usually not the policy of ABC 10News to name victims of sex abuse, the woman, in this case, did not want to conceal her identity.

During a news conference outside her attorney's office Friday morning, Grace Winn wiped away tears at times as she told her story.

"I was 13 years old and I was molested and I was abused and I felt there was no safe place at Francis Parker to speak out," said Winn.

According to the complaint, filed Sept. 15 with the San Diego County Superior Court, Winn is accusing Francis Parker of, "negligent supervision and breach of mandatory duty."

"He did things and communicated in ways that he convinced me were normal but in fact, his relationship with me was not normal," Winn said.

According to the suit, a teacher and basketball coach named Miguel Cembrano "groomed and ultimately sexually abused" a then 13-year-old Winn.

"After school, he would tutor her in the classroom by themselves, rub her thighs, grab her butt, and did inappropriate things that should never happen to a child," said Winn's attorney, Jessica Pride.

The complaint goes on to say that Cembrano was fired in 2015 and went on to work at a different high school in the San Diego area. During that time, Pride says Cembrano continued to contact Winn, "asked her for inappropriate pics, for nude pics, for child porn."

The suit alleges that Francis Parker knew of the inappropriate behavior involving Cembrano, but failed to report it to the proper authorities.

Pride also says that Cembrano was under investigation for sexual misconduct with another young girl at his new school. ABC 10News is not naming the school until the criminal complaint is verified.

Cembrano committed suicide by jumping off the Coronado Bridge before any action was taken.

ABC 10News reached out to Francis Parker which issued the following statement:

"At Francis Parker school we take all alleged incidents extremely seriously. Our school's values are founded on putting students first, and providing an environment for learning where students are safe, both physically and emotionally. We are unable to comment on the specifics of the pending litigation."