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Molestation Case

A former university professor was sentenced to 12 years in state prison Wednesday in a sexual molestation case sparked when photographs showing graphic abuse of a Newport Beach girl were found discarded on a Los Angeles street. Ronald Ruskjer, 44, a one-time faculty member at Loma Linda University's school of public health, wept and apologized during a 40-minute statement before a San Bernardino Superior Court judge.
December 23, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
A Los Angeles County grand jury has indicted a former El Segundo teacher on suspicion of molesting 13 boys in three counties. Jeffrey Thomas Simonek , 28, faces 20 counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old, according to authorities. Simonek was arrested Nov. 26 and remains in county jail in lieu of $20 million bail. According to the indictment, unsealed Dec. 12, the alleged crimes occurred between April 2006 and June 2012, with most victims molested multiple times over spans of a few days to several months.  At least 15 of the felony counts were committed in Los Angeles County, three in Plumas County and two in Orange County, according to the indictment.
October 1, 1991
A Rancho San Diego man has been arrested in connection with 18 counts of child molestation, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Monday. Deputies arrested John Joseph Richardson at about noon Saturday. He was booked at the County Jail downtown and held in lieu of $380,000 bail. Richardson allegedly molested his step-granddaughter and several other neighborhood girls--all from 7 to 9 years old--in his home within a three- to four-week period, sheriff's Sgt.
November 15, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy said Friday that he was relieved that the criminal case against an ex-Miramonte Elementary teacher accused of lewd acts against students was over and sharply criticized teachers unions for blocking attempts to streamline the dismissal of those suspected of misconduct. Former teacher Mark Berndt was charged in 2012 with committing lewd acts against nearly two dozen children at Miramonte Elementary School, including feeding them cookies tainted with semen.
May 19, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A fugitive piano teacher accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl has been arrested in Canada, authorities said Friday. Daniel Peter Gaudin, 68, faces extradition to Orange County, where he could be sentenced to a maximum of 18 years in prison if convicted of committing lewd acts on a child under 14, a felony. Gaudin, who spent two years teaching piano to the girl and her sister, is accused of sexually assaulting the younger child in her home from October 2004 to April 2006.
September 15, 1995
A former Beverly Hills police officer charged with sexually molesting two teen-age boys in Hollywood pleaded no contest to a felony charge Thursday. David Beckstrom, 32, entered his plea to a single count of oral copulation with a person under 18 before his scheduled preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Municipal Court.
September 7, 2003
As a professional who has worked in the field of child abuse/neglect for Los Angeles County for 34 years, why do I think convicted child molester John Stoll is innocent (" 'Kids Don't Lie,' " by John Johnson, Aug. 10)? 1) In at least 90% of the cases I have seen where child-custody issues are involved, allegations of molestation made by the other spouse are unfounded. In Stoll's case, the allegations didn't start with his ex-wife but were planted by an incompetent investigator. 2) The children immediately should have had a "scan" exam.
December 24, 2012 | By Kim Christensen
When a lawsuit alleged that two young brothers in Michigan had been molested “hundreds of times” by a troop leader, the Boy Scouts denied responsibility and pointed the finger at someone else - the boys' recently widowed mother. The Scouts faulted the woman “for her failure to provide adequate parental supervision,” suggesting in court papers that she was responsible for any harm to her sons. One of the boys' lawyers called that argument excessive. “The day their dad died, the perpetrator began to befriend the boys,” Kelly Clark said.
September 21, 2012 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A former teacher at a Pacoima elementary school who continued to work in Los Angeles Unified schools despite several red flags was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison after he admitted molesting 13 students. In letters read to Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash, the parents of three victims explained how third-grade teacher Paul Chapel lured the Telfair Elementary School children before molesting them. One mother, identified as Darlene, wrote that Chapel "personally requested" her son to be in his class.
August 22, 2012 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
The California Senate unanimously passed a bill today that would provide greater safeguards for child actors in Hollywood, moving the measure one step closer to adoption. The bill would require criminal background checks for talent managers, publicists, photographers and others in the entertainment industry who would have unsupervised access to young performers. It also would prohibit registered sex offenders from representing minors. Following a unanimous roll-call vote on the floor of the Senate, AB 1660 returns to the Assembly to vote on minor amendments made to the proposed legislation dealing with start-up funding.
August 21, 2012 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A former Telfair Elementary teacher pleaded no contest Monday to molesting 13 students at the Pacoima school and faces 25 years to life in prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. As a preliminary hearing was to begin for Paul Chapel III, he pleaded no contest to 13 counts of lewd acts on a child, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Elena Abramson. "They were all students at Telfair, aged 8 and 9.... Some of them were students in his class and others he met outside the classroom in breaks or after school," Abramson said.
August 16, 2012 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
A California bill seeking to protect child actors in Hollywood has passed a major legislative hurdle. The state Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved measure AB 1660, which would require criminal background checks for talent managers, publicists, photographers and others in the entertainment industry who would have unsupervised access to young performers. It also would prohibit registered sex offenders from representing minors. The bill is similar to a measure proposed  in 2006 that died in the appropriations committee, amid opposition from some in the entertainment industry.
January 6, 2012 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from San Francisco -- The California Supreme Court appeared reluctant Thursday to give adult victims of child molestation the right to sue decades later those who knew of the abuse and failed to stop it. During oral argument, several members of the state high court expressed skepticism toward a lower court's finding that gave adult victims flexible legal deadlines for bringing such third-party suits. The court is considering a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Church by six brothers who were in their 40s when they said they discovered that they were suffering the effects of abuse by a priest decades earlier.
December 4, 2011 | By Mona Shadia, Los Angeles Times
A pastor and youth soccer coach has pleaded not guilty to charges that he molested an 8-year-old Huntington Beach girl and possessed child pornography. Christopher Raymond Olague, 39, of Westminster was arrested by Huntington Beach police in October after the mother of the girl reported the alleged molestation. Olague allegedly picked up the girl Oct. 5 for a play date at a park with one of his daughters. Instead, he took her to the parking lot of a grocery store and molested her, Huntington Beach Police Lt. Russell Reinhart said.
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