Catholic News Agency
April 17, 2019
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a female teenager who was sexually abused and abducted by a teacher at her high school in 2016.
The victim attended San Gabriel Mission High School, an all-girls school in San Gabriel, Calif., about 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The then-15-year-old student was abused over numerous months by Juan Ivan Barajas, her volleyball coach and health teacher.
“The Archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese stated. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The Archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”
The plaintiff’s main attorney, David Ring, said April 16 that the amount is the largest the archdiocese has paid a single victim.
According to the New York Times, Barajas, 39, had sent her sexually explicit messages and images through his phone. He had abused her in several locations on school grounds beginning in April 2016.
After Barajas’ wife found out about the abuse, he kidnapped the teenager in July, and took her to Las Vegas. The police found the pair living in his car in Henderson, Nev., and Barajas was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty.
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