LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles Unified School District will pay $14.7 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by seven former students of a Canoga Park elementary school teacher they said molested them.
The teacher, Rene Tenas, pleaded no contest in 2018 to two felony counts of lewd act on a child and was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
According to attorney Luis Carrillo, the former students involved in the lawsuit were 9 and 10 years old and suffered “tremendous psychological damage as a result of the sexual abuse by their teacher.”
The LAUSD Board of Education approved the settlement Tuesday.
In a statement Wednesday, a district representative said, “Los Angeles Unified respects the privacy of those involved in this unfortunate matter. We are saddened by the pain they experienced that was caused by their former teacher and are hopeful that this resolution provides some relief in the healing process. Student safety remains a top priority for the district as we continue to strive to provide a safe learning environment for all students.”
The criminal charges against Tenas stemmed from allegations he inappropriately touched six girls — ages 9 and 10 — on or between Aug. 1, 2016, and Jan. 31, 2017, at Hart Street Elementary School.