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Student Sues Long Beach Unified School District Over Alleged Sexual Abuse

March 21, 2023

By Fatima Durrani

A 14-year-old student filed a complaint in the Long Beach Superior Court on Feb. 27, alleging the LBUSD failed to protect her from a middle school teacher who sexually assaulted her.

Dan Murray, a science teacher at Hughes Middle School, had the minor as his student in his class. Murray denied the lawsuit’s allegations and wasn’t aware of it until the Long Beach Post contacted him.

The plaintiff complained that Murray had touched a female Hispanic student inappropriately and had the habit of making inappropriate comments toward them. Students said his comments were aimed at female Hispanic students of undocumented parents.

“These people are just out for money,” Murray said. “I was cleared of this last year.”

The complaint stated that Murray walked the plaintiff out at the end of class, pretended to trip, squeezed her breasts and said, “my bad.” According to the complaint, Murray also began commenting about the plaintiff’s body and dress.

The incident was reported to school officials by the plaintiff, and the authorities weren’t notified, according to the complaint. A school therapist later filed a report with the Long Beach Police.

The attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the student, Terry Davis, said that the allegations in the complaint speak for themselves.

“Defendant LBSUD knew or should have known that Dan Murray had the propensity to prey on young Hispanic students of undocumented parents,” the complaint said. “Plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the incident.”

LBUSD spokesperson Christ Eftychiou said the accusations were “neither corroborated nor substantiated upon investigation by school administration and law enforcement.” The school has been aware of the allegation against Murray since May of last year.

Detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration. Due to a lack of evidence, the district attorney chose not to press charges.

The complaint said that the plaintiff continues to suffer from severe emotional distress due to the injuries of sexual abuse and molestation.

“Victim alleges that suspect, her teacher, touched her breasts inappropriately over the clothing in the guise of catching himself from falling,” prosecutors of the case wrote. “Suspect denies and points to the victim’s failing grade in his class as a possible motive for her to lie. No witnesses were identified as having observed any of the conduct. No other students have made complaints about the suspect.”

Eftychiou declined to comment further on the investigation and whether Murray was removed from the classroom during the investigation. Murray said that he found the allegations disturbing.

The case remains under investigation, according to a spokesperson for the LPBD.