A civil lawsuit filed by a Westview High School graduate claims her former teacher sexually assaulted her in his classroom in 2016 while she was still a student there.
The lawsuit says that in the fall of 2016, Christian Michel called the alleged victim, then 16 years old, into his classroom as she was walking to another class. He then pushed her into the wall and fondled her chest for several seconds, according to the claim.
Left shocked and embarrassed, the claim says the victim went home from school ill later that day. The victim’s remaining one and a half years of high school was a dread nearly every day, the claim said.
The victim was enrolled in Michel’s homeroom and took Spanish class with him.
After the alleged incident the victim refused to attend Michel’s class and went to homeroom in another teacher’s classroom until she could be permanently switched out of his late in her senior year. During the time between the alleged incident and the victim switching out of Michel’s class, Michel never marked the victim absent, according to the claim.
The lawsuit claims the victim altered her paths around campus so she could avoid Michel, and refused to attend school events where she thought Michel would be, like football games and dances.
As a result of the assault, the victim developed extreme fear and paranoia when in classrooms with male teachers and developed a total mistrust for school administration, the claim said.
The lawsuit also alleges the Poway Unified School District, which was also named in the lawsuit, was negligent in its hiring of Michel and failed to thoroughly investigate claims of sexual harassment against its staff.
The district told NBC 7 it does not comment on pending litigation.
Michel is no longer an employee of the district.
Westview High School is located at 13500 Camino del Sur in San Diego.