(CN) – A middle school teacher seduced a 13-year-old student in a sexual affair that lasted more than 6 months, until the teacher’s husband – a Los Angeles police officer – found them out and threatened to kill the boy, his family claims in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The G. family sued Amy Victoria Beck, an English and history teacher at David Starr Jordan Middle School, her husband National Beck, the Burbank Unified School District, the LAPD and the city of Los Angeles, alleging misconduct, negligence and civil rights violations.
According to the Superior Court complaint, the boy was Beck’s history student in seventh grade when he was “invited and urged by defendant Beck” to babysit her three kids on a regular basis.
She drove him to and from her house after school, and paid him $50 each time, “a sum believed to be substantially in excess of the going rate for those services,” according to the complaint.
“During this time, unbeknownst to the victim or his parents, defendant Beck began a coordinated campaign designed to seduce the victim into having a sexual relationship with her and ultimately began sexually molesting and abusing the victim,” the family says.
When he moved on to eighth grade, he says, Beck made him her teaching assistant, which led to their working together after school hours in her classroom. One evening as he was “conducting service hours with and for defendant Beck,” she asked if she could kiss him, the complaint states.
“The victim was unsure what to do, but, due to her authority and her position of power over him, and fearful of falling out of favor with her, the victim acquiesced,” the family says. “Beck then suddenly kissed the victim directly on the lips, and proceeded to insert her tongue into his mouth.”
Several more instances of sexual molestation followed, the family says. Beck allegedly coaxed the boy into massaging her breasts as they watched a movie while he was babysitting her children. She “grabbed the victim’s penis through his trousers, in hopes of arousing him sexually,” according to the complaint.
“The victim felt increasingly frightened, and felt like he was ‘in trouble,’ but was powerless to stop defendant Beck’s campaign of sexual abuse,” the family claims.
Eventually, they say, Beck “directed the victim, then an inexperienced virgin, to engage in sexual intercourse with her.”
She also performed oral sex on the boy and “forced the victim to perform oral sex on her on a number of occasions, despite the victim voicing his extreme displeasure and severe discomfort in doing so,” according to the complaint.
The family says the relationship ended on an evening in the fall of 2009 when Beck’s husband found them together and determined that “something inappropriate was on.”
When she confessed about their relationship, her husband “threatened that he would kill the victim with his police gun,” the family says.
Beck’s husband then called the boy’s parents and threatened again to kill him to them if they did not come pick him up right away, according to the complaint.
The family says they filed an internal complaint of employee misconduct with the LAPD, but the police “failed to investigate or take any appropriate remedial or disciplinary action to prevent Officer Beck from engaging in such conduct in the future and further failed to initiate prosecution against Officer Beck for making a death threat to the minor victim and his parent.”
A few months later, in March 2010, Beck resigned her teaching position and reported her sexual abuse of the boy. She was sentenced to 2 years in prison for unlawful sexual intercourse and committing a lewd act on a child. She also must register as a sex offender for life upon release, the family claims.
The family sued the Burbank Unified School District, school principal Sharon Cuseo and other school officials for negligent hiring and retention.
They say the school district and Cuseo “knew or should have known of the conduct and ratified such conduct by failing and refusing to take any action to prevent or protect the plaintiffs.”
The boy and his parents say the affair caused him to suffer great pain, shock, emotional distress, embarrassment, disgrace and stultification of his sexual development.
They seek compensatory and punitive damages and are represented by Lon Isaacson.