A lawsuit filed this week accuses the Fresno Unified School District of negligent supervision of a teacher’s assistant who has been arrested on charges of kissing a female student at Mario G. Olmos Elementary School.
Andres Perez-Esteban faces three felony counts of lewd acts with a minor. A criminal complaint accuses him of kissing the girl between August 2015 and March this year, when he was arrested. The girl turned 10 last month.
He is free on $120,0000 bail. His next criminal court hearing is Oct. 4 in Fresno County Superior Court.
The lawsuit says from August 2015 to March this year Andres Perez-Esteban had daily access to the girl.
The civil lawsuit says Perez-Esteban, 21, got his Fresno Unified job through the Butte County Office of Education and California Teaching Fellows Foundation. The program – designed to increase the pool of potential teachers – is coordinated through the California State University (CSU) system, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit accuses Perez-Esteban of sexual battery and sexual conduct and harassment of the girl. Fresno Unified, Butte County Office of Education, the California Teaching Fellows Foundation, and CSU are accused of negligence and negligent training and supervision of Perez-Esteban.
The girl and her family are represented by Fresno attorneys Warren Paboojian and Jason Bell. The are seeking unspecified damages from the defendants.
Perez-Esteban is free on $120,0000 bail. His next court hearing is Oct. 4
The lawsuit, which gives only the girl’s account, says Perez-Esteban had daily access to her from August 2015 to March this year. On numerous occasions, he “sexually abused, molested, touched and harassed” the girl, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says Olmos Elementary School employees knew or should have suspected Perez-Esteban’s involvement with the girl because he spent a lot of time alone with her on the school campus. In addition, Vice Principal Jorge Ramirez inquired with Perez-Esteban about his relationship with the girl and “counseled him about maintaining appropriate space away from her,” the lawsuit says.
“Despite their knowledge and observations, the school administration and/or staff allowed this behavior and conduct to occur and failed to adequately monitor and supervises (the girl) and Perez-Esteban,” the lawsuit says.
Fresno Unified spokeswoman Jessica Peres Baird said Thursday the district has not been served with the lawsuit and does not comment on pending litigation.