Sweetwater to Pay $650K to Former Student Molested by Band Instructor

The Sweetwater Union High School district will pay $650,000 to a former Bonita Vista High School student whose band director initiated a sexual relationship with him, the victim's attorney said.

In court filings, attorneys for the Sweetwater Union High School District argued the high school music teacher Jason Mangan-Magabilin was a “well respected and well-loved teacher.”

NBC 7 was first to report that Mangan-Magabilin, 38, was accused of sexual relations with the student between 2010 and 2011 when the student was between 15 and 17 years old.

Mangan-Magabilin worked as a music teacher at Bonita Vista High School within the Sweetwater Union High School District for 10 years.

He pleaded guilty in December to oral copulation and penetration by a foreign object with his former student. In February, a judge sentenced him to a year in custody and three years of probation.

The victim, now a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Southern California and Sam Houston State, reported the incident to authorities in July 2016, because of mandatory job training, his attorney said.

But, Sweetwater’s outside counsel Jennifer Creighton accused the victim of reporting the sexual relationship to police after he and Mangan-Magabilin broke up.

“Plaintiff and Mr. Mangan were involved in a relationship for approximately six to seven years, which lasted long into Plaintiff’s adulthood,” the court filing says. “Shortly after Mr. Mangan attempted to end their relationship, Plaintiff (age 23) notified law enforcement and Mr. Mangan was arrested.”

The school district and the victim recently entered a settlement agreement for $650,000, according to the attorney. NBC 7 is not naming the victim, even though he is named in court records, because he was a minor at the time of the sexual assaults.

“Unlike other school districts in this town, at least the SUHSD took responsibility for one of its teachers hurting one of its kids,” said Dan Gilleon, the victim’s lawyer.

During a February court appearance for the criminal case against Mangan-Magabilin, the victim told the judge:

“These last few years, since ending my relationship with the defendant, my life has been turned upside down. I’ve had to face a lot of dense truths about myself and this grim situation. This journey has sent me down roads of depression, anxiety and self-loathing,” said the victim, identified in court as John Doe.

After graduating from BVHS, he performed throughout college as a member of the Trojan Marching Band. He also earned a master’s degree in conduction from the American Band College of Sam Houston State in 2013.

Mangan-Magabilin was sentenced to three years of felony probation and will spend a year in jail. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim and register as a sex offender for life.

During the sentencing, Mangan-Magabilin spoke to the judge about how sorry he was.

"The actions were absolutely inexcusable but the intent was not selfish," he said. "Boundaries were crossed but it was never malicious and I can only pray that John Doe and his family can find closure and happiness."

The Sweetwater Union High School District has not yet provided a comment about the outcome of the civil lawsuit. Check back for updates.

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