Woman settles suit over alleged molestation by West Covina coach

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A young woman who alleges she was sexually abused as a teen by a part-time wrestling coach at South Hills High School in West Covina has settled a lawsuit with the Covina-Valley Unified School District.

The Los Angeles Superior Court complaint was filed in December 2015, and alleged that school administration negligently hired, supervised and retained coach Anthony Vidales.

The complain also alleged that the young woman, now in her 20s, was sexually abused by Vidales while she was a member of his team at South Hills High School in West Covina during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Vidales was arrested in 2015 and placed on paid leave, according to Michelle Van Der Linden, then-spokeswoman for Covina Valley Unified School District.

Principal Chad Stewart, Assistant Principal Manuel Burciaga, acting Dean of Students Lisa Berry and Athletic Director Darren Murphy were all responsible for monitoring Vidales to make sure he properly coached, taught, counseled and advised students, including the plaintiff, the suit stated.

The four school officials also should have known Vidales “had previously engaged in dangerous and inappropriate conduct with children,” the suit alleged.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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