A year-old molestation case in the South Bay came to end Monday when a former Morgan Hill teacher was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting young students.
The girls’ families are planning to sue the school district for failing to recognize the warning signs.
It was an emotional day in a South Santa Clara County courtroom, as Morgan Hill teacher John Loyd heard from his victims. Back in August, he accepted a plea deal for molesting four students. One of them wrote she had forgiven Loyd.
“It has been devastating for all of these young girls; violations of trust,” said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny.
Three families are planning to sue the Morgan Hill Unified School District, where Loyd was employed as a 5th grade teacher.
The molestation said to have occurred in his classroom when he taught at Nordstrom Elementary in 2005 and Paradise Valley Elementary School from 2012 to 2014.
“In this county alone, from the cases involving O.B. Whaley, the YMCA of Silicon Valley, Spark Charter school and Walden West among others, we have witnessed in this county an epidemic” said San Jose Attorney B. Robert Allard.
Allard is representing the families. Besides the civil lawsuits, they're seeking a law to mandate training to spot predatory behavior. Among Loyd’s red flags include parents’ complaints about his behavior to various principals.
One complaint states Loyd gave candy for hugs. Another sign was the way Loyd set up his classroom.
“Those poor little girls were victimized one at a time in a darkened room that was locked with no supervision,” said former San Jose Police Sergeant Michael Leninger.
Leninger is working with the law firm as an investigator. The law firm provided pictures of Loyd’s where newspaper on the windows is said to have obstructed views.
In response, Mark Davis, the attorney representing the Morgan Hill Unified School District, sent KTVU a statement on behalf of the district.
“The District is pleased that Mr. Loyd entered a plea and accepted a prison sentence that eliminates the need for any of these girls having to testify at trial,” the statement read.
The statement continued: “The District has not yet been served with any lawsuit, but if and when the lawsuits are filed they will be reviewed by counsel and a responsive pleading will be filed on behalf of the District.”