Lyn Vijkayendran, principal of O.B. Whaley Elementary
SAN JOSE, Calif. —
A South Bay school principal accused of violating a California law requiring that certain people to report possible child molestation went on trial Wednesday in a San Jose courtroom.
Lyn Vijayendren, the principal at O.B. Whaley Elementary School in San Jose, is charged with failing to report a teacher who may have molested a student one year ago.
That teacher, Craig Chandler, is currently awaiting trial for molesting five children.
According to police reports, an eight-year old child told the principal that Chandler had -- among other actions -- blindfolded her and touched her as part of a 'Helen Keller' lesson.
The eight-year-old took the stand Wednesday
"Her duty is to report, not to investigate, said Prosecutor Alison Filo. Once she has a reasonable suspicion that something has occurred, she needs to contact law enforcement and let them do their jobs."
Detective Sean Pierce took the stand Wednesday and testified Vijayendren acknowledged her notes indicated misconduct by Chandler.
"She said 'The notes look bad, don't they?' The detective said 'Yes, '" explained Filo. "And she said 'I should have contacted the police.' And our whole point is yes, she should have."
Vijaendren's attorney Eric Geffon said the principal was fooled by a teacher she trusted.
"She didn't have to ask him or prompt him. Each of the things that the child had said were covered by the statement that Chandler gave and they were explained as 'part of a 'lesson,' said Geffon. "And this was clearly designed to cover up that conduct. It was clearly well thought out and planned."
The trial will resume Thursday. Geffon told KTVU he has not ruled out calling Vijaendren to the stand.
If convicted, Vijaendren faces six months behind bars.
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