A California judge sentenced former coach Jaime Jimenez to over 36 years in state prison for on sexual assault charges. Jimenez, 48, served as a volunteer football coach at Franklin High School in Highland Park where he abused at least five boys from 2002 up to his arrest in 2015.

As first reported by The Los Angeles Times, authorities recounted in a 2016 preliminary hearing how Jimenez stalked and assaulted five victims ages 13 to 16. Both underage and adult witnesses testified that Jimenez offered the boys rides home from practice, bought them gifts, and invited them into his own home. There, Jimenez gave the boys alcohol and groomed the boys for his abuse. The victims allege he began with touching moved on to masturbation and finally to sodomy. One of the victims testified his abuse by Jimenez began when he was just 9-years-old.

The District Attorney’s office originally charged Jimenez with 32 felony accounts. Authorities dropped most of the charges, and Jimenez pleaded no contest to four felonies and one misdemeanor. These charges include two felony counts each of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 years old and lewd acts on a child 14 to 15 years old and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

In addition to Jimenez’s prison term, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ray G. Jurado sentence the perpetrator to lifetime registration as a sex offender. He also disallowed contact between Jimenez and any of the victims for 10 years.

Lawsuit Against School District

In addition to their testimony in this criminal cases, victims and adult witnesses are taking the case to civil court. An attorney representing several of the victims’ families has filed suit against the Los Angeles Unified School District. The suit alleges that school officials should have suspected and stopped inappropriate contact with at least one of the victims.

“Teachers and administrators would see [the victim] coming and going in [Jimenez’s] car, and they know that is against policy,” Finaldi said.

This lawsuit comes less than two years after courts ordered L.A. Unified, the same school district, to pay $6 million in a similar sexual abuse case.


According to Justice Department statistics, less than 18% of prosecuted sexual assaults lead to court convictions because sexual assault cases are notoriously hard to prove, and the process often puts added strain on the victim.

Many college-age victims feel there are negative repercussions for providing their testimony without the ability to stay anonymous. Unfortunately, confidentiality can itself complicate justice when it comes to preventing future abuse. An example of this is playing out now at the University of Kentucky.

The Jane Doe on Campus

At universities, students can choose to forgo police reporting and instead report sexual assault to their school’s Title IX office. While this is the office that primarily ensures there is no gender discrimination on campus, they are also responsible for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct.

The advantage in Title IX reporting, rather than reporting abuse to the police, is guaranteed anonymity for the accuser and the accused. If after investigation the accused is found guilty, the charges will be recorded appropriately on his employment record, even if criminal charges are never filed.

The two UK students who went to their school’s Title IX office to report sexual assault explained that they did not want to go through the courts because they did not believe they could afford for their names to go public.

“I just spent a good portion of my life in grad school trying to further my career and if I’m labeled as someone who filed a sexual assault claim against a professor, that could very easily backfire against me,” one of the Jane Does says. “There’s a lot of people in academia who think that there are women who make up stuff like this.”

Once Jane Doe took her case to the UK Title IX office, board members launched an investigation collecting evidence and interviewing people close to both accuser and the accused. Following several months of such investigation, they set up an official hearing.

The Title IX Loophole

However, the hearing in this case never took place. School officials allowed the accused professor to resign before the hearing date thus keeping his record clean and clear. Jane Doe described this as a glaring oversight of the Title IX reporting system “not just at UK but at every single university, if a professor resigns before there’s a hearing then he’s allowed to move on to another university potentially victimizing more students.”

In a statement, the accused professor responded that these allegations against him were false. He states he resigned in order to protect his family from the stress and publicity of an official hearing.

If you or someone you loved has been sexually abused while at school, please contact us today for a free case evaluation.


A judge convicted Joseph Kikuchi, a former Alhambra basketball coach, of sexually abusing a female high school player in his tutelage last month.

failure to report abuse

Kikuchi, 57, entered a no contest plea to the 23 counts of sexual abuse of a minor levied against him. While a no contest plea is technically not an admission of guilt for commission of the crimes, Kikuchi did not reach any settlement agreement with prosecutors. With the open plea, he will skip the trial process and face February sentencing by a court who will treat the plea as guilty. Kikuchi faces a maximum of 19 years, 4 months in prison and lifelong registration as a sex offender.

Kikuchi’s 23 counts of sexual abuse of a minor include 12 felony counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, five felony counts of committing a lewd act upon a child, one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 16, and five misdemeanor counts of child molesting.

Police arrested the former basketball coach back in September 2015 with the accusation of unlawful sexual contact of a minor during the 2015-2015 school year. Charges were initially filed against him in October 2015, but the trial underwent several delays at the request of Kikuchi and his attorney.

Before Kikuchi’s bail hearing and subsequent court process, the local community held him in high regard and esteem. The court received dozens of letters of support and community members attended his arraignment and bail review in order to support Kikuchi. The arrest stunned many in the community, Kikuchi’s lawyer denied all allegations at the time, and those who knew him wrote of his character and time spent in and of the community.

52,000 Text Messages Between coach and Victim

However, during Kikuchi’s 2015 bail review and November 2016 preliminary hearing prosecutors presented the court with tens of thousands of damning text messages between Kikuchi and the victim. During both hearings, lead prosecutor Rena Durrant read aloud a series of descriptive and threatening texts. She later told the judge she doubted half the community showing support would have done so knowing what Kikuchi had texted the victim.

For instance, in one message sent after the victim tried to break off the relationship Kikuchi threatened to pull her from her team position. “Don’t piss me off. If you do this, I will move up other girls,” the text read according to Durrant.

In another text message exchange, the victim writes, “if I say stop please stop, ok. I know it’s love but still.” Kikuchi allegedly replied, “ok. But don’t say stop because I won’t all the time.”

Investigators recovered the text messages after the victim deleted them. If you or someone you know are victims of sexual abuse, it’s important to know text and email messages between victim and perpetrator serve as strong evidence in a criminal trial. Even if deleted, investigators can retrieve messages from internal storage and servers for use in criminal proceedings.


After a decade of scandals, Oakland’s police force hopes for much-needed reform with new chief Anne Kirkpatrick. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf introduced Kirkpatrick during a January news conference. She described her as “the reform-minded leader that Oakland has been searching for.”

CULTURE OF CRIME

Oakland’s police department has cycled through chiefs since the disturbing 2003 civil rights settlement over four officers’ alleged beatings, falsified reports, and evidence planting. Things appeared to be an upswing in recent years, until the discovery of a major sexual misconduct scandal in June 2016.

This scandal began when 19-year-old Jasmine Abuslim told news agencies of sexual encounters she had had with dozens of officers across local law enforcement agencies. Four Oakland police officers have since been criminally charged because of those encounters, and another three face charges of failing to report their abuse. Former police chief Sean Whent resigned and two interim chiefs were appointed and dismissed within days.

Angered by the gross misconduct, Schaaf famously rebuked the department in a follow-up press conference. “I am here to run a police department, not a frat house.”

BOTH AN OUTSIDER & INSIDER

Oakland leaders chose Kirkpatrick to clean up the force thanks in large part to her history as a reformer. In her tenure as a Chicago officer, she led the department’s Bureau of Professional Standards. This newer group began as part of the city-wide reform effort following the controversial shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Video of the incident sparked national outrage as it showed McDonald shot and killed while walking away from officers.

In addition to her work in Chicago, Kirkpatrick served as police chief for three departments in Washington state — Ellensburg, Federal Way, and Spokane. More recently she served as a leadership instructor for the FBI. Her appointment in Oakland adds to the unique cast of female Oakland city leaders as the mayor, city administrator, and fire chief positions are all currently held by women.

Reporters asked Kirkpatrick how her history and Chicago reform efforts will affect her work in Oakland. She replied, “Reform is where we have policies and procedures and we direct behavior. I am more interested in transformation. It’s transformation I have a real heart for. Reform is part of transformation.”


The death of Gabriel Fernandez continues to have far-reaching implications as nine deputies were internally disciplined as a result of failing to properly investigate allegations of abuse.

Gabriel was abused and tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend despite more than sixty complaints by relatives and teachers. An autopsy revealed injuries that included a cracked skull, broken ribs, burns, bruises, abrasions, and missing teeth. Pellets from a BB gun were found embedded in his skin.

Complaints of abuse were filed over a period of ten years before Gabriel’s death, prompting eight separate investigations and multiple interactions with police. In some cases, only a phone call was conducted and no contact with Gabriel occurred.

Gabriel’s grandparents filed a wrongful death lawsuit after his death. They raised Gabriel for most of his life. Seven months before his death, Gabriel’s mother took back custody despite having legally transferred guardianship of the child to her parents. Tragically, deputies allegedly ignored their pleas to keep Gabriel in their custody. Gabriel died seven months after being removed from their home.

Deputies also failed to properly investigate when Gabriel’s teacher reported abuse, after he expressed a desire to commit suicide to a counselor, after allegations of sexual abuse were reported, and after a county worker reported seeing Gabriel covered in bruises and burns. The latest chance for deputies to save Gabriel’s life came just a week before he died after school officials reported his absence from school and concerns for his safety.

Four social workers faced criminal charges after the death and some were prevented from further social work by the suspension of their license. All four faced one charge each of child abuse and falsifying records. They were arraigned in July 2016.

While no criminal charges were filed against police deputies, they did face internal disciplinary actions as a result of Gabriel’s death. The extent of the disciplinary actions has not been reported due to privacy laws.