David Ring and Jim Lewis reached a settlement of $3 million for their client in a child sex abuse case against the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, in Santa Cruz, CA. Steven Jay Sande, a former teacher at Aptos Junior High School, pled guilty to 19 felonies stemming from his sex abuse of a 12-13 year old female student. Sande was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
The victim’s lawyers were able to prove that school administrators received several serious complaints about Sande’s improper interactions with female students. Sande, who was 60 years old, tried to flirt with the middle school girls. He sent certain girls text messages, and made phone calls to them. He did the same with the victim. He started out befriending her, then texting her, then sexting her, and then he engaged in sexual abuse with the girl, who was only 13 years old. The school failed to properly supervise Sande, despite knowing about many serious complaints regarding his behavior towards girls.
Mr. Ring said, “No amount of money can ever put that girl back to where she was before she met Mr. Sande. No amount of money can compensate that family for what they went through.”
This story was featured in Santa Cruz Sentinel .