June 12, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Lawsuit Claims Venice High Teacher Sexually Abused Student:

A lawsuit was filed against Los Angeles Unified on Tuesday on behalf of a teenage girl who alleges she was sexually abused by a former Venice High history teacher and tennis coach, including once in the school’s football stadium press box.

The mother of the girl filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the LAUSD, former teacher Michael Finegold — who also was the public address announcer for varsity football games — and Venice High Principal Elsa Mendoza.

The suit alleges sexual battery, negligence and violations of the civil and education codes.

An LAUSD spokesman did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged misconduct mainly occurred in October 2013 when the girl was 16 years old and primarily consisted of Finegold inappropriately touching the girl and having improper conversations with her.

“He (Finegold) would often ask plaintiff to remain in his classroom during nutrition, lunch and after school hours where he was alone with plaintiff,” the suit states.

“He would commonly give her back rubs, rub her feet or otherwise engage in inappropriate contact with plaintiff,” the suit states.

On occasion Finegold gave the girl “long and compassionate hugs” in front of students and school employees, according to the lawsuit.

Finegold also once texted the girl and said, “I want to sleep with you,” and told her in conversations that his marriage was failing and that he was sexually interested in the plaintiff, the suit states.

On Oct. 18, 2013, Finegold asked the girl to go with him to a VHS football game and invited her to watch from the press box, where he was scheduled to announce the game, the suit states.

During the first half of the game, Finegold began “inappropriate sexual contact” with the girl in front of the team’s official scorekeeper and a local news reporter, according to the lawsuit.

“There was quite a bit of inappropriate and perverse sexual comments being made by Finegold throughout the first half of the game,” the suit states.

Mendoza was told about Finegold’s alleged misconduct with the girl in the press box, but she watched him temporarily leave with the girl and did nothing to intervene, the suit states.

Instead of calling the police as was her duty under the law, Mendoza “called her administration to find out what to do,” the suit states.

After leaving the press box, Finegold went on to continue to inappropriately touch the girl in the back seat of his car, the suit states.

Finegold returned with the girl to the press box, where the plaintiff was removed by VHS personnel, the suit states.

Finegold was allowed to finish announcing the game, the suit states.

Neither Mendoza nor any of the other “mandated reporters” called police and so the girl and her mother had to make their own report to law enforcement last Oct. 20, the suit states.

After Finegold was arrested, the girl was harassed and ridiculed by other students, some of whom called her a “slut,” the suit states.

In addition, a substitute teacher, with the girl present in the classroom, spoke of Finegold as a “great teacher” who was missed by other teachers as well as students, the suit states.

in News
Related Posts

Martin Cadillac Redevelopment Takes Shape on Olympic Near Bundy

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

West Edge development underway near Expo/Bundy station By Sam Catanzaro Wood and concrete framing is now visible at the Martin...

Sheriff Villanueva Announces Plan to Clear Encampments by July 4th

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team visits Venice Boardwalk Tuesday By Sam Catanzaro Deputies were on the Venice Beach Boardwalk Tuesday...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

Annenberg Beach House Set for Reopening

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

Community beach house begins reopening June 15 for splash pad, stand up paddle and courtyard The Annenberg Community Beach House...

Letters to Editor: Main Street Closures

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

The following are two letters sent to the Santa Monica Mirror, one in support and one in opposition, regarding a...

Man Attempts to Cut Throat at St. Monica’s Coffee Shop

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Victim in stable condition following Monday morning incident By Sam Catanzaro A man is in stable condition after cutting himself...

Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? Santa Monica Beat – June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? * Police Make Two Arrests...

Santa Monica City Council to Consider Main Street Traffic Closure

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

City staff recommending closure of the roughly 1,000 feet between Hill Street and Kinney Avenue  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica...

Artists Featured For SaMo Pride Rainbow Road Art Walk

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

In honor of Pride month Santa Monica Pride (SaMo Pride) is featuring a Rainbow Road Art Walk from June 4th-...

Santa Monica Affordable Housing Development Takes Shape

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Pacific Landing apartments underway at Lincoln and Pacific  By Sam Catanzaro A $28 million affordable housing development is taking shape...