Former LA schools administrator pleads no contest to student sex charges

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A former Los Angeles Unified School District employee entered a no-contest plea today to charges that he committed lewd acts with three underage girls and had sex with another. All were students at campuses where he’d worked. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has the story.

The charges against teacher and assistant principal Steve Rooney shocked many people, not only because of the lurid details but also because a colleague of Rooney’s had failed to inform higher- ups of the allegations, as required by law.

Later it came to light that Rooney’s district supervisors had transferred him from one school to another after L.A. police had told the district it was investigating Rooney for having sex with a minor.

Rooney went on to molest two girls at the new campus, authorities said.

Afterward, then-L.A. Unified Superintendent David Brewer apologized to parents at a campus meeting. L.A. Unified’s current superintendent says he’s put in place policies to protect students and has taken action against employees who don’t report alleged abuse as required by law.

Rooney’s no-contest plea means he won’t challenge the charges and can be convicted in a few weeks as if he’d entered a guilty plea. He faces eight years in state prison.