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Alleged victim sues district

Teenage boy’s mother speaks out

Posted: August 28, 2008 9:40 p.m.
Updated: October 30, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Roselyn Hubbell

 
As head counselor at Golden Valley High School, it was Roselyn Hubbell’s job to help students succeed in school and choose the right path in life.

But rather than helping, said the mother of a former Golden Valley student, Hubbell, 33, led her 14-year-old son down a sordid path of sex, drugs and lies.

“I thought, oh my God, I found someone to help me with my son, because she was a counselor and he was having some problems,” said the alleged victim’s mother. “Then, I found out she was making love to my son in my own house.”

The Signal is withholding the name of the now-16-year-old boy, as well as the name of his mother, to protect his identity.

The alleged victim’s mother filed a claim Aug. 5 for personal injury on behalf of her son against William S. Hart Union High School District for “sexual harassment, molestation and abuse” the teen allegedly suffered at the hands of Hubbell between January and September 2007.

“We have received notice of the claim, but since it is pending litigation, we cannot comment on it,” said Pat Willett, spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

The alleged sexual encounters took place in various places across Los Angeles County including a beach, shopping malls, the Golden Valley campus, Hubbell’s car and inside the victim’s home, according to the claim.

“The mother thought (Hubbell) was actually providing her son with guidance, and was trying to help him, but she really just used that as an opportunity to take advantage of him,” said Vince Finaldi, the alleged victim’s attorney. “He was assigned to her as his counselor, and pretty much right away it turned sexual.”

Hubbell resigned in May amid accusations of inappropriate relationships with two students. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Hubbell June 10 when she attempted to check into a San Fernando Valley hotel with another minor child, not the one referred to in the claim.

Felony charges initially filed against Hubbell at the time of her arrest were reduced to one misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 after that alleged victim refused to admit to a relationship.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case of the student filing the lawsuit, because in the past that alleged victim has also refused to come forward and speak to detectives about the relationship.

Relationship evolved

But that changed Wednesday when — after almost a year of silence — the student revealed details of his alleged relationship with Hubbell to investigators for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victim’s Bureau.

Lt. Art Lucas, field lieutenant for the bureau, hopes the new information from this alleged victim will lead to new charges against Hubbell.

“It’s a ‘he said, she said’ type of thing, and there’s no corroborative evidence. There are no witnesses,” Lucas said. “But if the new accusations rise to that level, then we are in support of more charges being filed.”

Finaldi, who works for Manly & Stewart in Newport Beach — a firm that represented many victims of sexual abuse, including some of the recent Catholic priest cases — told The Signal about some of the boy’s allegations.

“He told them that, after he started going to Golden Valley, Roselyn Hubbell befriended him and said she would help him out with his grades and to find a job — she was just basically going to take him under her wing,” Finaldi said. “She started out touching and kissing him, and then the first actual sexual encounter took place at the victim’s home, unbeknownst to the mother, of course.”

According to the claim against the district, the relationship soon evolved to include sensual hugs and massages, oral sex and unprotected sexual intercourse. Hubbell sometimes also allegedly required the victim to smoke marijuana during their encounters, and the victim claims the two had an agreement to keep the alleged relationship secret.

Charm found
“They kept contact pretty minimal at school — apparently they had an agreement to keep it under wraps,” Finaldi said. “(The student) said they had an agreement that he wasn’t supposed to talk (about the relationship).”

Meanwhile, the victim’s mother feels completely betrayed by a woman she trusted enough to give her a key to her home.

“I thought she was helping me, and I used to tell her ‘thank you.’ I gave her my house key, and I trusted her with my son,” the mother said. “Now, I don’t know how many times she went to bed with him here in my own home.”

The student’s mother began to suspect that something inappropriate may be going on when a friend of hers walked into the boy’s room while Hubbell was with him.

“She went into his room and he was laying on the bed and Roselyn Hubbell was on the bed next to him touching his private parts,” the mother said.

With her son denying a relationship, the mother decided to do some snooping to see if she could find any evidence of an affair. She found a note under her son’s pillow — typed and unsigned — in the form of a poem that mentions “our intimate sessions.”

“Do you see the last word of that note — ‘sessions?’ Counselors use that word, you know, ‘We’re going to be in session,’” the mother said.

The student’s mother also found a charm given to her son that read: “You are the sunshine of my life.” She confronted her son again, and he admitted to the alleged affair. “You don’t know what I feel. I was crying when I found out what had happened to him,” the mother said. “I hope she pays for what she did. I can’t sleep at night thinking about what I can do for justice for my son.”

After her son confessed to the alleged relationship, his mother contacted a social worker, law enforcement and the school for help, but she ran into roadblocks when her son continued to deny the relationship when speaking to authorities.

“I told the police and they thought I was just trying to ruin her career, and they told me (Hubbell) could sue me,” the mother said. “I went to the school and they said they couldn’t do anything unless he admitted it.”

Double standard

The  mother of the alleged victim refused to give up, continuing to contact the school and the law enforcement and constantly pressuring her son to talk to investigators.

“I worked hard for almost a year to convince (my son) to come forward, so today I am very happy,” his mother said Wednesday.

Finaldi said there’s often a double standard in cases of abuse involving a woman and a boy.
“People say it’s every boy’s fantasy, but studies have shown that this type of abuse has the same traumatic effect on boys as it does on girls,” Finaldi said.

The personal injury claim does not request a dollar amount, only an unspecified amount exceeding $10,000.

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