LOS ANGELES – A notice of a tentative settlement was filed Wednesday in a case brought against Los Angeles Unified alleging a girl, now 16 years old, was molested by an after-school program counselor when she was 11 in 2017.
Lawyers for the LAUSD stated in their Los Angeles Superior Court papers that the settlement of the case brought on behalf of the plaintiff identified only as S.C. was “conditional” and dependent upon the completion of unspecified events. The court papers further stated that a request for dismissal will be filed by April 30.
No settlement terms were divulged. Trial was scheduled to begin Feb. 22.
In their court papers, lawyers for the LAUSD and the counselor, Daniel Khodaverdi, denied any liability and disputed the nature and extent of S.C.’s claimed damages.
S.C. was in the fifth grade at Columbus Avenue Elementary School in Van Nuys in 2017 and a member of the LAUSD’s LA’s Best after-school program when she met Khodaverdi, who was in his 20s at the time, the suit stated.
Soon after becoming acquainted, Khodaverdi began grooming and conditioning the girl with praise, mentoring, compliments, the sharing of personal information, the use of nicknames, gifts, personal favors and touching, the suit states.
Khodaverdi encouraged the plaintiff to call him “Coach K” in order to establish a close and inappropriate relationship with the girl so he could manipulate her emotions and take advantage of her age, the suit stated.
Khodaverdi escalated the alleged misconduct in the fall of 2017 by asking the girl to lie down next to him and would yell at her if she refused, according to the suit. The counselor then began his inappropriate touching of her while they were lying next to each other and he later watched her take a shower, the suit alleged.
S.C. told a therapist in September 2018 that she had been abused by Khodaverdi, the suit filed in January 2020 states.
S.C. believes the LAUSD and the management of LA’s Best engaged in a “concerted effort to hide evidence” regarding Khodaverdi’s alleged misconduct with other minors prior to abusing the plaintiff, the suit states.
LA’s Best’s website states that its after-school program “plays a vital role in the lives of unique and talented elementary school students who attend nearly 200 LAUSD schools in neighborhoods with the fewest resources, yet the greatest needs” by providing them with a nutritious meal, help with their homework and a wide choice enrichment activities.