Serial Molester Teacher Awaits Sentence

SAN LUIS OBISPO (CN) – Already sentenced to prison for having sex with one student and awaiting sentence for having sex with another, his second victim sued the former teacher and both school districts Monday.
     Jeremy Ryan Monn, 32, was sentenced in Merced County in April to 4 years in prison for having sex with a 15-year-old student at Don Pedro High School.
     After Monn left Don Pedro High School in the Big Oak Flat-Groveland School District, he went to Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.
     He will be sentenced on July 13 in San Luis Obispo County for two felonies, for having sex with a 16-year-old student at Paso Robles High School.
     An agreement between prosecutors in both counties will lead to a combined 7-year sentence, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.
     In its criminal complaint, San Luis Obispo County said Monn had sex with a female student between March and June 2014.
     While Paso Robles police were investigating that case, according to the Union Democrat newspaper in Sonora, another victim surfaced.
     A year earlier, while Monn was a teacher at Don Pedro High School, he had sex with a 15-year-old girl between April and July 2013, according to the Merced Sun-Star.
     Citing police reports, the Sun-Star said Monn and that girl had sex more than a dozen times, sometimes at Monn’s apartment in Merced.
     The girl spent three days at Monn’s home in July 2013, telling her guardian she was at a 3-day conference for the Future Farmers of America, according to the Sun-Star.
     In the new civil lawsuit, Jane Doe and her guardian claim that Monn’s predilections were known at both schools.
     In addition to Monn and both school districts, Doe sued Dave Urquhart, the principal of Don Pedro High School and superintendent of the Big Oak District.
     Jane Doe is 17.
     According to her 20-page lawsuit, teachers and staff were made aware of Monn’s relationship with “Victim A” at Don Pedro High School, where another student informed Urquhart that Monn was having sex with a student. But Urquhart did not report that to police, according to the lawsuit.
     Public educators are “mandatory reporters:” they must report child abuse to police.
     But, Jane Doe says in the lawsuit: “Urquhart informed Monn of the allegation and suggested Monn should perhaps look for employment elsewhere. Urquhart and others acting on his behalf promised Monn that Big Oak would give him a favorable recommendation if he found another teaching position elsewhere.”
     This allegation is not unusual in public school districts, which often hush up such allegations, in an attempt to preserve the reputation of the school, and give suspected abusers clean letters of reference. The situation is so common that school districts even have slang for it: “passing the trash” or “the mobile molester,” according to an Associated Press study of five years of sex allegations against teachers.
     When Monn applied for work at Paso Robles High School, Big Oak officials told the Paso Robles district that Monn “had never been the subject of any discipline, that Monn was a model teacher, that Monn would make a great fit for Paso Robles, and that Monn was an excellent educator and was of high moral character,” Doe’s lawsuit states.
     Doe says Big Oak and Urquhart knew that was not true – that Monn should not have been teaching at any high school.
     “Defendants wanted to rid themselves of Monn because of the scandal that would result if the incidents became public,” the complaint states.
     But Monn got the job at Paso Robles High School – his alma mater, according to the Tribune newspaper in San Luis Obispo.
     There, while working as a teacher and FFA adviser, Monn gave rides to girls, texted them, had improper personal conversations with them and touched them improperly, Doe says. She claims Monn groomed her with compliments and special favors, culminating in sex.
     Teachers and administrators “heard of strong rumors and suspicions that Monn was engaged in inappropriate conduct with some girls, including plaintiff, yet defendants failed to investigate or supervise Monn more closely,” Does says in the complaint.
     In May 2014, school officials were informed that Monn was believed to be having sex with a student, and police were notified.
     Monn pleaded no contest this year to several criminal charges involving both girls.
     In Merced County, Monn’s attorney David Vogel told the Union Democrat newspaper that Monn was known to be a good teacher and a kind person.
     Teachers with decades of experience told Courthouse News that that is often the case. They related tales of excellent teachers who simply could not “respect boundaries,” as the saying goes.
     Attorney Vogel told the Union Democrat that Monn “exercised extremely poor judgment and has accepted responsibility for his actions.”
     Doe seeks punitive damages for government torts, sexual abuse of a minor, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud/intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, negligence and breach of duty.
     She is represented by David Ring, with Taylor & Ring, of Los Angeles.
     The Associated Press study found that 2,500 public school teachers were punished for sexual misconduct in the 5 years from 2001-05. The AP did not report how many had been passed along from district to district. Nor could it report on sexual misconduct in private schools, which generally handle such cases in house.
     One state, Maine, prohibited schools from releasing information on sexually abusive teachers, according to the 2005 AP study. The AP reported that no teachers in Hawaii had been disciplined for sexual misconduct in those 5 years, though some were in prison for it.
     One extreme case, John Boone, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for molesting more than 90 children on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. Boone too had been passed along from another district. The United States agreed to pay $13 million to settle claims in that case, though it cleared the superintendent of the school district that employed Boone before he went to the Hopis.
     One teacher told Courthouse News that he faced a difficult choice when he suspected that a fellow high school teacher was having sex with a student.
     He sought legal advice.
     He said he was told, “To ruin someone’s career can be actionable. To fail to ruin someone’s career is less actionable.”

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