Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsMolestation Case
IN THE NEWS

Molestation Case

FEATURED ARTICLES
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 1994 | ANNA CEKOLA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
Advertisement
BUSINESS
December 1, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
A Hollywood manager who specializes in representing young actors has been arrested on suspicion of molesting one of his clients, and police suspect there may be other possible victims. Police arrested Martin Weiss on Tuesday on suspicion of committing lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, said Det. John Alviani, coordinator for the sexual assault unit of the Los Angeles Police Department's Topanga Division. Detectives executed search warrants in Santa Monica, where the 47-year-old Weiss lives and runs his business, Alviani said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2011 | By Lauren Williams, Los Angeles Times
The trial of a former Costa Mesa priest accused of molesting a 7-year-old parishioner is scheduled to begin Monday. Denis Lyons, 77, is charged with four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, according to court records. Lyons is accused of molesting a boy in the church rectory and sacristy at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa, according to archived reports from the Costa Mesa Police Department and Orange County district attorney's office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2001 | From Times Staff Writers
A former janitor who admitted molesting students at a Van Nuys elementary school was sentenced Wednesday to five years' probation and is expected to be released from jail today after serving more than a year. William Lester Thompson, 54, was charged with 11 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with girls, ages 9 to 11, at Kester Elementary School. He pleaded no contest to three counts last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1989
A Maywood first-grade teacher was acquitted Tuesday of charges that he molested seven children in his classroom. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury in Norwalk acquitted Stanley Komae, 38, after deliberating three days. Komae, a teacher at Heliotrope Elementary School, had been charged with 30 counts of molestation during the 1986-87 and 1988-89 school years. Komae, who has been on unpaid leave, said his acquittal "was a tremendous relief from a long 10-month burden."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|