A former Lincoln High student says she suffered emotional distress after one of her teachers made inappropriate sexual comments toward her and tried to get her to prostitute herself to older men.
The 17 year old filed a claim against the San Diego Unified School District, saying the district turned a blind eye to what was going on "right under their noses."
San Diego Unified has rejected the claim, which means the teen has six months to file a civil lawsuit.
The teen’s attorney says a lawsuit will be filed next month, alleging that the former teacher, who NBC 7 is not naming, regularly made sexual comments to her, and asked the girl to take intimate photos of herself.
We are protecting the identity of the teen who spoke to NBC 7 with the guarantee we would not reveal her name.
We are not naming the teacher because he hasn’t been charged with committing any crime.
The teen says throughout her junior year at Lincoln, the teacher would show her pictures of scantily clad girls in provocative lingerie. She claims he also showed her some nude photos.
Last fall, when she was a senior at Lincoln, she claims the teacher began pressuring her to take intimate pictures of herself so he could share them with friends. She eventually did. She claims she emailed the photos to her teacher as they both sat in the classroom.
The teen claims that her teacher said the pictures were good, but she could do better. Since she was wearing clothes in the photos, she believed "better" meant he wanted her to pose nude. She never did.
The girl’s claim says the teacher would often bring "rich men with expensive cars" to Lincoln, telling her that if she "went shopping” with the men, she could make money.
The claim states that "on approximately 20 occasions" the teacher tried to convince the teen to prostitute herself for money. According to the claim, the teacher told her, "I could hook you up, you go with the one guy who came to class, he has money. He could take you shopping and in things happen, you could make money out of it."
"I was embarrassed," she told NBC 7. She began trying to avoid the teacher and cutting class. She says it wasn’t until another teacher noticed her crying in class that she told anyone what she claims happened.
She reported the inappropriate interactions to school officials, who contacted San Diego Police. Police forwarded the case to the San Diego City Attorney.
NBC 7 contacted the city attorney about the case and received this response from a spokesperson:
“The San Diego Police Department investigated (name deleted by NBC7) for annoying a child under the age of 18 and referred the case to our office for review and consideration. Under professional rules of ethics, criminal cases must be supported by evidence that shows the existence of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence we received did not meet this threshold.”
The teacher’s contact wasn’t renewed. He left Lincoln in the middle of the school year. He contacted NBC 7 Investigates several weeks ago saying he is completely innocent, and has not been charged with any crime.
The teen’s attorney forwarded the case to the San Diego County District Attorney, hoping for a new set of eyes to look at the case. In the meantime, she says a civil lawsuit against San Diego Unified will be filed next month.