Crime

Former student sues Clovis Unified for unlawful sex with 2 teachers

From left, Matthew Pena and Dwayne Andrews
From left, Matthew Pena and Dwayne Andrews

The female student who had unlawful sex with former Clovis High School teacher Matthew Pena and former substitute teacher Dwayne Andrews has sued the Clovis Unified School District for negligence.

The lawsuit, filed this month in Fresno County Superior Court, comes four months after Pena and Andrews were sentenced to three years of probation after pleading no contest to a felony charge of unlawful sex with a minor.

In her lawsuit, the student contends the school district was negligent in hiring and supervising Pena and Andrews. She is seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress and for hospital and/or medical expenses.

Because the school district was on winter break this week, officials could not be reached to comment.

Court records say the student was 17 years old when she had sexual relations with Andrews and Pena in 2014. The Bee is not identifying her because she was a minor at the time of the incidents.

The girl told police she became romantically involved with Andrews, a walk-on football coach and substitute teacher at Clovis High, around November 2013. She told police she referred to Andrews as “Daddy” and had sex with him in 2014 from May to August.

Pena’s encounters with the girl happened between October and December 2014, court records say.

The girl told police she had sex with Pena and Andrews at their homes. She and Pena also had sex in the darkroom on the Clovis High campus.

Affidavits say the girl told police she was in love with Pena, had his name tattooed on her side and wanted to bear a child with him. The girl also told investigators that she had sex with Pena when she lived temporarily with him, his pregnant wife and his young daughter.

Pena and Andrews were arrested in January this year after school officials notified police about the relationships.

The following month Pena’s wife filed for divorce, court records say.

Andrews was charged initially with five felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. Pena was charged with four felony charges, including unlawful sex with a minor and oral copulation.

The affidavits spelled out other allegations against Andrews and Pena. It accused Andrews of text-messaging the girl while she was being interviewed by police.

The affidavits say Pena also was investigated in 2007, when he was an unpaid assistant girls basketball coach at Clovis East High. Police suspected Pena, then 24, was having an affair with a 14-year-old girl on the team. The affidavit says the girl would sneak out of her home at night and meet with Pena, who would give her gifts.

Pena also sent the 14-year-old text messages and referred to her as “love.” The girl’s parents believed she was having sex with Pena, but that was never proven, so the investigation was closed.

Clovis Unified spokeswoman Kelly Avants has said the current administration did not know about the police investigation of Pena in 2007. She said police officials told school administrators about the 2007 investigation after Pena was arrested in January this year. Because Pena was not arrested in the earlier case, Avants said, the investigation went undiscovered during a background check.

In granting probation, Superior Court Judge Jonathan Skiles said he wanted to make it “crystal clear” that the 17-year-old victim did nothing wrong.

Of the two offenders, Pena was much worse, the prosecutor told the judge, because he manipulated the girl by letting her believe “they would have a future together.”

In accepting their punishment, Pena, 33, and Andrews, then 30, apologized to the victim, who was not in the courtroom, and took responsibility for their criminal actions.

Pablo Lopez: 559-441-6434, @beecourts

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