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L.A. Unified agrees to $14.7-million settlement with sex abuse victims

Attorneys representing seven students who were molested by their former elementary school teacher have reached a $14.7-million settlement with Los Angeles school officials.

The Los Angeles Board of Education approved the settlement Tuesday, said Michael Carrillo, an attorney representing five of the victims.

Carrillo said that although the settlement does not undo the abuse suffered, it provides a measure of closure.

“This is beneficial to some young girls that have been through a lot,” he said. “Their memories of their childhood and their elementary school are tarnished forever. These kids are severely affected to this day.”

In a statement, the Los Angeles Unified School District said officials were saddened by the students’ pain and hoped the settlement provided some relief.

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“Student safety remains a top priority for the district as we continue to strive to provide a safe learning environment for all students,” the district said.

According to a statement by Carrillo’s firm, the victims were 9- and 10-year-old students at Hart Street Elementary School in Canoga Park when they were abused by their teacher, Rene Tenas.

The abuse occurred from August 2016 to January 2017, the law firm said in a statement.

Tenas was convicted in October 2018 of committing lewd acts with minors, according to the statement. He was sentenced to five years in state prison.

California Department of Justice records show he was released last year.

Carrillo said there are eight known victims, seven of whom were part of Tuesday’s settlement. He and his father represented five victims, while attorney Michael Marzban represented two victims.

A separate lawsuit is pending for the eighth victim, he said.


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