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Molestation lawsuit filed

Parent sues school over alleged sex abuse

Posted: January 8, 2009 10:14 p.m.
Updated: January 9, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 

The mother of a Golden Valley High School student allegedly molested by his guidance counselor filed a lawsuit against the school, the William S. Hart Union School District and former guidance counselor Roselyn Hubbell Thursday.

The lawsuit claims Hubbell maintained a nine-month sexual relationship with the boy and coerced him to smoke marijuana. The suit also alleges the school district was aware of the risk Hubbell posed to male children.

Hart district officials were not served Thursday and would not comment on the pending litigation, said Pat Willett, district spokeswoman. The attorney representing the district did not return phone calls by press time.

Hubbell faces misdemeanor charges after deputies arrested her in June 2008 attempting to check into a San Fernando Valley hotel with a different Golden Valley student than the one named in the suit.

At the time of her arrest, the unnamed victim in the criminal prosecution was in possession of cocaine.

Hubbell is due in San Fernando Superior Court Jan. 23 for a pre-trial hearing in the misdemeanor charge.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office declined to prosecute the claims made by the victim named in the lawsuit in October, said Vince Finaldi, attorney for the plaintiff.

"The D.A. is hesitant to prosecute cases with young boys molested by women. There is a culture of acceptance," Finaldi said.

Class and race may also play a role, he said.

"If this was a rich white kid, we wouldn't be going through this," Finaldi said.

District Attorney press secretary Jane Robison refutes Finaldi's claim.

"(The D.A.) prosecutes regardless of background. We prosecute based on evidence," she said.
Robison declined to comment on why the D.A. declined to prosecute.

The lawsuit alleges Hubbell engaged in sexual activity with the victim including mutual masturbation and intercourse.

Hubbell took advantage of a troubled student, Finaldi said.

"The victim transferred to Golden Valley in January 2007," he said.

Hubbell, the head of guidance, mentored the victim and often drove him to and from school, Finaldi said.

"(Hubbell) gained the trust of his parents and even showed up to their home," he said.

A friend of the plaintiff told the victim's mother about the alleged sexual relationship.

"She went to the school district and they didn't believe her," Finaldi said.

The school district didn't follow up with an adequate investigation into the claims, Finaldi said.

"We dug around a little and found another complaint against (Hubbell)," Finaldi said.

The complaint is connected to the allegations of the boy named in the criminal case, he said.

Finaldi's law firm, Manly and Stewart, threatened a lawsuit Aug. 5, but the school rejected a settlement.

Finaldi filed a court petition for permission to sue the school district Oct. 10 and was granted permission Dec. 12.

The court decides whether a public entity can be sued in California, Finaldi said.

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