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Sentencing Set for Teen Who Molested Schoolgirls

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

With sentencing set next Wednesday for the teenage girl who molested two elementary school students, neighborhood parents have submitted petitions asking the court to place her in a facility that provides counseling for sexual offenders.

The Ventura County Juvenile Court sustained six counts of lewd acts on a child against the 15-year-old girl in a hearing earlier this month, according to records released to The Times.

Judge Charles Campbell found that she had molested two Camarillo Heights Elementary School students--a 5-year-old girl on the campus last year and a 9-year-old girl at the teen’s home last month.

After the first incident, the teenager was placed on informal probation and returned to her home near the school.

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Now, Camarillo Heights parents would like to see the teenager sent to a facility for intensive counseling.

“She is a young predator,” said the mother of the kindergartner molested last April. “I hope the court can overlook her age and gender and sentence her to a very strict, locked-up facility. She is a repeat child molester and an absolute danger to the children in our community.”

The teenager, posing as a kindergarten classroom aide, molested a 5-year-old girl in a school restroom and again behind a puppet theater in a classroom, police said. The teen, then 14, had enrolled the day before at the school, but when the principal determined she was too old for elementary school, he asked her to leave.

The mother of the kindergartner pulled her daughter out of school and filed a lawsuit accusing the Pleasant Valley Elementary School District of negligence.

While on informal probation in that case, the teenager was arrested March 14 after molesting a 9-year-old girl at her home two days earlier, police say.

The younger girl had been taken to the teenager’s home by another student earlier in the week. Police said the teenager encouraged the younger girl to skip school and return to her house.

The 9-year-old’s parents have filed a claim with the school district, but declined to comment.

Their attorney, Brian P. McGilvray, said the teenager “is a disturbed person who deserves a chance at rehabilitation. At the same time, the crimes she’s committed are serious, and that needs to be taken into account by the court.”

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News of the two incidents alarmed the community surrounding the school on the northern edge of Camarillo. Parents demanded to meet with school administrators, who responded with pledges of increased security.

The parents then began a petition drive aimed at persuading the court not to allow the teenager to return to the neighborhood. The teenager’s family appears to have moved from their Camarillo home.


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