Mike Lansing
Accused of sexual abuse, but back in the classroom

The 13-year-old on the witness stand looked to be an ordinary adolescent, her diffident smile unveiling a set of braces. Her attorney began gently, with questions about her favorite band and trips to the mall. Then he brought up "Mr. Ricardo" and second grade. The girl buried her face in her hands and sobbed. When her mother took the stand, she testified that the girl had not been the same since the day the teacher's aide put his hands on her. "I just believe this whole thing changed her life," the mother said. "I don't see her so confident around people. . . . I believe she has no interests." A jury late last year ordered the Los Angeles Unified...