SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — More allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled Tuesday against officials at a prestigious all-girls Catholic high school in San Jose.
Former students accuse Presentation High School of covering up sexual abuse dating back decades.
The story first surfaced this past fall when a Presentation High graduate wrote a Washington Post op-ed essay accusing a former Spanish teacher at the school of sexually assaulting her and a classmate in separate incidents when they were students in 1990.
At a press conference in a downtown San Jose law office Tuesday morning, two more individuals made accusations of sexual misconduct at Presentation High School.
The attorneys who are working on behalf of the two individuals say that there are more than a dozen victims who attended the school dating back to the 1980s. They insist school officials did not follow mandated reporter laws.
A former student and parent of a former student spoke out about two separate situations.
Dina Leonis is the mother of the former student who said a teacher sexually abused her daughter in 2013. She maintains the school didn’t take the allegation seriously.
Katherine Magana, the former student, said a math teacher harassed her when she attended the school a decade ago.
These most recent allegations come after several former students and at least two current students came forward to allege sexual abuse or harassment at the school.
The accusers say the school put its reputation above student’s safety and failed to look into abuse claims.
“Three of my daughters water polo teammates reported to Presentation’s Athletic Director that the head coach had been engaging in the following actions concerning my daughter: inappropriately touching her, including hand holding, hugging and massages; exchanged inappropriate photos with her via Snapchat; spent considerable time alone with my daughter, including in the coach’s car; and clearly showed favoritism towards my daughter and engaged in generally red-flag predatory behavior,” said a visibly upset Leonis.
“He would press his legs up against mine and rest his hand on top of my hand. Each time I would tell him I didn’t want to leave my desk, he would insist that I sit with him,” remembered Magana.
The school put two teachers on paid administrative leave since the flood of allegations. The administration says it investigates claims of sexual abuse and hasn’t tried to cover anything up.
The attorneys said that they believe there are up to eight teachers who have been employed by presentation high school in the past several decades and are involved in these allegations.
While there currently is not a lawsuit pending, the attorneys are demanding changes on behalf of their clients, calling for new leadership at the school.