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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

School District to Give Molested Student $3.5 Million

August 11, 2000

SAN DIMAS — The Bonita Unified School District has agreed to a court settlement giving $3.5 million to a youngster who was molested by a teacher, who is scheduled to be released from prison this weekend.

The settlement superseded a jury award last year that gave the child $10.8 million after finding that school district officials were negligent in their supervision of convicted molester Jack R. Kelley.

Attorneys for the victim agreed to the settlement after the district, which serves San Dimas and La Verne, appealed the verdict. The jury ordered it to pay 45% of the award, while Kelley was ordered to pay 55% of the damages.

In June, Bonita Unified struck a settlement to resolve its portion of the case. It did not release details until 1st Amendment activist Richard McKee requested the documents recently. An attorney for the victim's family said it does not expect to recover any money from Kelley.

In 1996, Kelley was convicted of molesting the La Verne boy, who was on a soccer team the teacher coached. The boy went to the authorities in June 1996.

Kelley, 35, was sentenced to eight years in North Kern State prison near Delano after pleading no contest to molesting the boy and another child who came forward. He will be released this weekend to an area outside Los Angeles County, authorities said.

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