LAUSD To Pay $6m To Boys Molested By Telfair Teacher
Despite the warning signs and sexual allegations that are enough to raise red flags, Paul Chapel was still recruited as a third grade teacher in Los Angeles school ‘Telfair Elementary’ in Pacoima. In light of his latest molestation scandal that finally got him evicted, Paul Chapel, 54 years, is serving a 25 year sentence in prison. The victims, two teenage boys, were awarded more than $3 million by LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) as compensation for the sexual abuse that they suffered at the hands of their teacher.
Even though the damage from the trauma that follows child sexual abuse can never be quantified, the money was assessed to be $3 million to cover the boys’ past and future suffering. The older 14 year old received a total $3.1 million and the younger boy, a lump sum of $3,085,700. There was no dispute regarding the occurrence of the abuse. The trial was to reach a settlement for compensation amount and the jury took less than a day to pronounce the verdict.
The younger of the two was Chapel’s regular student and the older had a different teacher but he often visited Pacoima to attend Paul Chapel’s class. It all started with the accused enticing the boys with candies and then things escalated further to inappropriate interaction with the students that is considered illegal.
The attorney, Craig Barnes, argued on the settlement of $5 million apiece for the boys saying that it’s not money but the future of these kids that is at stake. The molestation continued from 2009 to 2011 for the vulnerable boys, who were preyed upon by an individual, who given his crime record, can be passed for a serial child molester.
Paul William Chapel was accused sixteen times for sexual abuse charges against under-fourteen children, three girls and one boy, between 2010 and 2011. These also include forcible vulgar acts in which he used violence, force and threat of significant physical harm. With charges this severe and a bail set for $2.2 million, Chapel was jailed and fired. With a track record of such nature, it is questionable why LAUSD even hired him in the first place, exposing students to a pedophile.
He molested a total of 13 students, seven girls and six boys during his teaching career. Warning signs like placing children on his lap, taking them to unauthorized field trips, locking the classroom door during recess with the students inside were all ignored by the authorities. He was also accused of molesting an 8-year old at a sleepover at his place.
At his no-contest plea for 25 years in prison, prosecutors dropped 15 additional charges against him that could have him behind bars for life. Criminal acts of such nature sabotage the trust and the special bond a child has with their teacher. It impacts them for life as they struggle with trust issues, PTSD and paranoia.
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I am an alumni adviser for a fraternity at USC. The chapter was involved in a disciplinary action with the university. After receiving unusually harsh and unfair sanctions from a student/faculty review committee, our chapter sought counsel from James Kosnett. He attended a hearing with USC administrators, and prepared a compelling written appeal.