11-year-old Molested by Teacher; Mother Files Lawsuit along with 3 Other Victims in California

Four former students are suing a teacher who used to work at Folsom Cordova Unified School District, saying that he groomed them and sexually abused them while they were his students. They are also fighting the school district, saying that it was careless and didn’t do enough to stop the repeated sexual abuse that happened over a number of years.

From the 1990s until now, the plaintiffs say the abuse happened over and over again. The most current case happened at Cordova Meadows Elementary School in 2021.

Steven Richard Kester, the defendant, is 78 years old and has been a full-time teacher at Folsom Cordova Unified since 1976. He retired in May 2012. A few months later, he joined the district’s pool of replacement teachers. In June 2021, he was arrested on suspicion of several felonies of sexual abuse of a child. According to court records in Sacramento County, he pleaded not guilty and is now free on bail.

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The four people in court all say they were abused at different times and are between the ages of 11 and 39. A complaint says that the girl, who is now 11, was harmed from 2017 to 2021, when she was 5 to 9 years old. The girl’s mother is suing on her behalf.

The lawsuit says that the child told her family that Kester had been abusing her. His lawsuit says she told him about what happened after he held her in a Cordova Meadows Elementary bathroom and abused her for several hours. This led to Kester being arrested in the end.

The other people in the case said they were abused at Cordova High School and Folsom Middle School at different times between 1998 and 2008.

People who are suing say that school officials knew about Kester’s bad behavior but did nothing to protect his victims or the other kids. There were “ample red flags and warnings” that Kester posed an unreasonable risk of harm to female youth students, according to the complaint. It also says that Kester “openly groomed plaintiffs in the presence of other teachers, school officers, leaders, supervisors, agents, and/or employees.”

Folsom Cordova Unified wouldn’t say anything about the case because they haven’t been served with it yet, according to a spokesperson.

The lawsuit says that Kester was called “Kester the molester” by all the students at Cordova High because he “pervasively and inappropriately touched the female students,” and he was seen every day outside the girls’ locker room as reported by Sacramento Bee.

In 1998, another plaintiff who was in Kester’s PE class at Cordova High was involved in the first event that led to the case. She said that Kester would touch her improperly and caress her breasts while “pretending to help her with the course-required pull-ups” in class. She asked to be moved to a different PE class.

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