NATIONAL CITY, Calif. - Concerns of more victims were raised in recent court documents regarding the alleged molestation of three girls at a National City elementary school.
The National School District and the former teacher at Palmer Way Elementary School are named in the personal injury lawsuit filed by students who said they were molested in their 3rd grade classroom with other students nearby. Team 10 is not naming the former teacher because he has not been criminally charged.
The alleged sexual assaults took place during the 2013-2014 school year.
The civil lawsuit claims the district did not immediately remove the teacher from the classroom and didn't take any preventative measures to protect the students.
"I think that they believed that my daughter collaborated with other little girls to be able to make up a story against the teacher because maybe he did something they didn't like, and that's not the case," said Sabrina, the mother of one of the girls.
Sabrina said she is frustrated by the way the district handled the case from the beginning, not telling parents as soon as they knew about the allegations. She also questioned the way the district dragged its feet regarding new potential victims that came forward after news reports regarding the investigation.
"It's very frustrating and it still leaves that big why, that big question mark; is the school really doing this to protect children? Are they really there to protect my daughter and other little girls, or are they protecting themselves?" said Sabrina.
The former superintendent of the National School District admitted in a deposition that another female student had come forward, but he claimed he did not know the girl's name. The student was in middle school when she told district officials she had been in the teacher's class years earlier.
Q. "Did that former student come out in favor of Mr. ____?"
Q. "Do you remember what that former student alleged?"
A. "No, not specifically."
Q. "This may have been asked, but do you remember if that former student was a male or female?"
A. "As I recall, she was female."
Lawyers with Gomez Trial Attorneys have been trying for months to get the name of that girl. They recently learned from the district that the names of two girls were referred to National City police so they can investigate their claims. They are hoping to question the girls before the case goes to trial in October.
National City police issued a statement to Team 10 which read, in part "… In order to protect the integrity of the case that is still pending in civil court, the National City Police Department is not able to comment on the matter."
Team 10 received a similar response from the National School District: "The individual in question is no longer employed by National School District. The case is currently in litigation, therefore the District cannot comment at this time."