Rhonda Murillo is fighting for her disabled daughter's rights in a federal lawsuit filed against the Western Heights school district. Murillo and her attorney Cameron Spradling recently filed a 17-page civil rights lawsuit, claiming the district did not report the sexual misconduct of a former coach.
Eric Ramirez, 26, the former Western Heights High School wrestling coach and substitute teacher in question, was charged in 2015 with second degree rape. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of outraging public decency for a sexual relationship. Ramirez was accused of having a relationship with an 18-year-old, developmentally delayed female student. Her mother claims the district never reported the crime.
“They never told me they would take care of it,” said Murillo. “I waited and waited. The police were not called.”
Murillo then contacted police herself. She said Ramirez was fired because he friended her daughter on Facebook. The civil rights lawsuit alleges Murillo's daughter, who was a special education student at the time, was subjected to a hostile educational environment.
“The school did absolutely nothing to protect my daughter,” said Murillo.
The lawsuit also claims the district failed to train or supervise Ramirez and the victim was harassed after the crime was reported.
“This is just the last in a long line of abuses that have happened at Western Heights involving coaches and teachers preying of young girls,” said Spradling.
Since 2012, three Western Heights teachers or coaches have been the subject of sexual misconduct cases. Spradling has harsh words for the district.
“Keep our kids safe,” said Spradling. “If you are going to have our children at your school, then keep our kids safe. It you can’t do that, then step away.”
The district’s attorney and superintendent could not be reached Sunday due to the holiday weekend.