A former Livermore student filed a lawsuit last week against the city's school and parks districts, alleging the two agencies failed to uphold their duty of care to her as a child 20 years ago, resulting in sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of an ex-employee.
The complaint, filed in Alameda County Superior Court on Oct. 30, is from a 27-year-old woman identified as "Jane Doe" represented by San Francisco-based attorneys Mary Alexander and Catalina Munoz, who allege that the plaintiff suffered from long-term grooming and sexual abuse as a 7-year-old student by former Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District employee Jason Quero -- who was subsequently convicted of child sex abuse in 2014 in a separate case and completed a five-year prison sentence in 2019.
"When she was just a little girl, Jason Quero did horrible things to my client," Alexander said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed. "He did this to other girls who are now adults still struggling with the trauma that occurred under the nose of a school district that was supposed to protect each and every one of them."
Quero was a campus supervisor and karate instructor at Livermore Valley Charter School at the time of sexual abuse toward a 14-year-old student between 2010 and 2011 that he was charged for in 2014. He pleaded guilty in early 2015 and was sentenced to six years in prison. According to Megan's Law records, he was released in 2019 and currently lives in Livermore.
Quero had worked at the now-defunct charter school starting in 2005 prior to his departure amid charges brought against him in 2014. He came into the position after several years of employment by LVJUSD as a campus supervisor at Arroyo Mocho School starting in 2003 and as a teacher's aide for Arroyo Mocho's extended student services program by the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District from 2001 to 2003.
It was during this earlier period of employment by LVJUSD and LARPD that the new civil complaint alleges incidents of sexual abuse at Quero's hands, which attorneys say took place from September through Nov. 6 in 2003 and which they argue both districts failed to prevent or intervene in despite having reason to know about the incidents.
"While acting in his employed capacity with Defendants LVJUSD and LARPD, Jason Quero began 'grooming' Plaintiff with the intent of manipulating her emotions and taking advantage of her young age so that he could ultimately sexually abuse her," Alexander and Munoz said in the Oct. 30 complaint.
"He took advantage of Plaintiff during a vulnerable time in her young life," according to the lawsuit. "He befriended her, spent most of the time at recesses with her, and gave her small gifts including a card with a glittery heart on it and a bracelet. All of this was done in a calculated plan to have Plaintiff become emotionally attached to him, despite knowing she was a young child and, like many young girls, could be easily manipulated by an adult male in a position of authority."
Following this period, attorneys allege that Quero started to be inappropriately affectionate with the plaintiff, such as by stroking her hair, kissing her on the cheek and having her sit on his lap while he had an erection.
None of this behavior was under wraps during his employment at Arroyo Mocho by the school and parks districts, according to Alexander and Munoz, who argue that both districts failed in providing a duty of care that would have seen some intervention or recourse for the plaintiff during her time as a student.
"Teachers, administrators, and employees saw Jason Quero repeatedly touching Plaintiff in an affectionate and inappropriate manner," the attorneys wrote.
Alexander and Munoz further argue that both districts should have known that Quero was unfit to work with children prior to the alleged incidents in 2003, and that the two districts had failed in their duty to protect young students from harm due to negligence in Quero's hiring and oversight.
"Defendants' employees, agents or representatives knew or should have known of Jason Quero's prior and continuing sexual molestation, harassment, abuse, assault and battery towards students, including Plaintiff, and that he posed a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to students," the attorneys said. "Defendants knew and should have known of Jason Quero's prior and continuing pedophiliac tendencies and propensities to molest, harass, abuse, assault and batter students."
Spokespeople for both LVJUSD and LARPD said that they had not been aware of the lawsuit when contacted by the Weekly; however, LARPD declined to comment further.
Michelle Dawson, coordinator of community engagement at LVJUSD, said, "Our District is deeply saddened and disturbed to read of the allegations made in this lawsuit." She added that the district is currently reviewing the complaint with legal counsel and the Livermore Police Department.