Lawsuit Filed Against Southern California Conference, Glendale Adventist Academy for Alleged Sexual Assaults of Student
- Lawsuit alleges Glendale Adventist Academy and Southern California Conference knew about sexual abuse that was happening on campus but intentionally ignored and/or concealed it.
- In the past 9 years, two teachers at Glendale Academy have been convicted for child sexual abuse, with some of the abuse taking place on campus.
- Lawsuit also alleges that in 2005 and 2006, another adult male teacher at Glendale Academy was sexually harassing numerous minor female students, and that in 1997 and 1998, another male teacher at the school was having a sexual relationship with one of his minor high school students.
30 June 2022 | A lawsuit has been filed against convicted child molester and former Glendale Adventist Academy teacher Brett Mohr, the school, and the Southern California Conference.
Mohr was arrested in February 2021 on allegations of child sexual abuse. In December 2021, Mohr pleaded nolo contendere to, and was convicted of, four charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14 years of age, and one charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to a press release from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, the law firm representing the alleged sexual assault victim.
Mohr is currently serving a 30-year sentence in state prison and is a registered sex offender.
“[Glendale Adventist Academy] says that they ‘endeavor to assure that contact between staff, students, and parents is positive and affirming, with mutual respect and a strong sense of unity.’ Yet they failed in their most basic moral responsibility to protect vulnerable children from a sexual predator,” said Jane Reilley, the alleged victim’s attorney.
The lawsuit alleges that around August 2004, the alleged victim met Mohr, who had been working at Glendale Academy since 1998. The plaintiff worked for him as a teaching assistant, and Mohr also was her teacher at the time of the alleged grooming and sexual abuse.
According to the complaint, from around the spring of 2006 through the fall of 2006 Mohr sexually assaulted the plaintiff, who was then a 16-year-old girl, on numerous occasions. The sexual abuse allegedly occurred on Glendale Academy’s campus, both during and after school hours, with much of the sexual abuse occurring in the storage room of Mohr’s classroom.
Glendale Academy and the Southern California Conference “failed to take reasonable steps, or to implement reasonable safeguards, to avoid acts of childhood sexual assault,” said the lawsuit.
The complaint alleged there were ample warning signs, reports, and/or investigations about Mohr’s unfitness to teach and be in contact with minors. Reilley said Mohr routinely made lewd sexual remarks in class and was allowed to be alone with the girl in his classroom and in a storage closet. The lawsuit also alleged that other adult staff and faculty members of Glendale Academy observed Mohr alone with the alleged victim in secluded areas, yet failed to take any action.
Moreover, Glendale Academy and the Southern California Conference ignored and/or concealed the alleged sexual assault of the alleged victim that had already occurred, and continued to allow numerous children to be in private, secluded areas alone with Mohr, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims there is “a systemic issue of childhood sexual abuse within the Academy, which was enabled by the Academy’s negligent failure to detect, report and prevent childhood sexual abuse on its campus.”
Mohr is not the the only teacher at Glendale Adventist Academy to be convicted of child sexual abuse. In 2013, Valerie Gonzales, a teacher who taught vocal music lessons at Glendale Adventist Academy, was sentenced to a year in county jail for allegedly engaging in lewd acts with a male high school student. Some of the abuse occurred after class on campus, as well.
The complaint also alleged that around 2005 and 2006, another adult male teacher at Glendale Academy was sexually harassing numerous minor female students. In addition, in 1997 and 1998, another male teacher at the school was having a sexual relationship with one of his minor high school students, according to the lawsuit.
“The administration of this institution must now be held accountable for allowing a culture of child sexual abuse to flourish on their campus,” said Reilley.
At the time of publication, Glendale Academy and the Southern California Conference had not responded to requests for comments and information about safeguarding practices, or how two people teaching at the school were able to abuse children on campus for months.
(Photo: A lawsuit has been filed against Glendale Adventist Academy (seen here) and the Southern California Conference. It alleges the school and conference intentionally ignored and concealed evidence of child sexual abuse at the school. Photo via Glendale Academy’s Facebook page.)