Teenage Girl, Father Sue Archdiocese of Los Angeles over Alleged Sexual Abuse at Hands of Coach Who Committed Suicide
CBS Los Angeles
March 18, 2016
A teenage girl and her father are suing the Archdiocese of Los Angeles alleging they bear responsibility for the female’s sexual abuse at the hands of a coach who killed himself when he was confronted by the dead.
St. Lucy’s Priory High School, an all-girls school in Glendora, was also named in the suit.
The suit erroneously named St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora as a defendant instead of St. Lucy Catholic School in Long Beach, according to the archdiocese, which released the following statement:
“The lawsuit appears to incorrectly name St. Lucy’s Priory High School and the Benedictine Sisters as defendants,” the statement read. “It appears that the lawsuit refers to St. Lucy’s School in Long Beach since it also names the late Scott Landerville, a former volunteer (coach). The complaint contains a number of claims, including an allegation of misconduct involving a former
student, which the complaint states to have occurred, after the student was at our school. We will be investigating the matter and have not been served in the litigation.”
The plaintiffs are identified in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit as John and Jane Doe. They are seeking damages of $10 million and $5 million, respectively.
The suit also names as defendants the school’s principal Diane Pedroni — a Benedictine sister — and Patrice Landerville, the ex-wife and special administrator of the estate of the late coach, Scott Anthony Landerville.
The allegations include child sexual abuse, assault, battery, negligence, false imprisonment and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Jane Doe was 17 when she says she was abused by Landerville in 2015, according to the suit.
The lawsuit says she first met him years earlier while her father and Landerville were coaching two different levels of girls’ basketball teams at St. Lucy’s. Landerville later became the school’s athletic director and coached Doe in basketball and volleyball, the suit says.
Her father and Landerville became good friends, and Landerville helped stage a 13th birthday party for her at his home, according to the complaint.
Landerville, who had a reputation at St. Lucy’s as a “stand-up guy” and regularly attended church and Bible study, later began taking an interest in the girl. According to the suit, he bought her roses on Valentine’s Day and drove her home from practice.
John Doe allegedly wrote an email to Landerville stating that people were starting to express concern and suspicion about his behavior with young girls. The suit says he also wrote that he planned to tell Pedroni about people’s suspicions.
But Landerville went to Pedroni before John Doe could speak to her nd told the principal he was quitting. Pedroni was critical of John Doe for writing the email to Landerville and said it looked like the plaintiff was jealous of a fellow coach and wanted his job, according to the complaint.
According to the suit, Pedroni fired John Doe, but did nothing to investigate the rumors surrounding Landerville.
Landerville was allegedly reinstated at St. Lucy’s a year after he resigned.
John Doe agreed to reconcile with Landerville, believing at the time that St. Lucy’s had looked into the issues regarding his friend and young girls and found they were unsubstantiated, according to the lawsuit.
John Doe was injured in a car accident in February 2014 and moved to another state to live with relatives. Jane Doe wanted to stay and finish high school in California, but wasn’t getting along with her mother and wanted to move out, the suit states.
“(Landerville) offered to take Jane Doe in for the remainder of her senior year in high school,” the suit states. “Jane Doe was very excited because she could stay in California, continue to play volleyball, be with her friends and finish her senior year.”
The lawsuit alleges, that Jane Doe in September 2014, moved into the home that Landerville shared with his daughter, his ex-wife and her husband and their three children, the suit states.
Within the next four months, Landerville began making remarks about the teenager’s body and denigrating her boyfriend and her father’s parenting, according to the complaint, which alleges he began sexually abusing her in February 2015. Meanwhile, her relationship with her father deteriorated, according to their complaint.
Jane Doe ultimately told her father about her sexual relationship with Landerville and moved in with her aunt until he could return to California and collect her belongings, the suit alleges.
Two days after being confronted by the girl’s father, Landerville, who was 56, shot himself in his back yard, the suit says.
The teen has since “had thoughts of suicide and severe guilt over Scott killing himself,” according to the suit, which alleges Pedroni knew or
should have known of Landerville’s “dangerous and exploitive propensities” with young girls and that he was unfit for his job.
Peroni, the archdiocese and the school should not have allowed him to remain at the school or allowed him to come into contact with children without supervision, according to the lawsuit.