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Sexual abuse lawsuit charges Palo Alto music school with protecting a teacher with sexual perversion tendencies

Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard Sexual Abuse Legal Team

Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard Sexual Abuse Legal Team

The sexual abuse legal team of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard represents the victim.

Root never should have been allowed to step foot in a School of Rock classroom, particularly where he would have private access to children.”
— Attorney Robert Allard
SAN JOSE, CA, UNITED STATES, January 15, 2020 / -- A civil lawsuit filed last week charges a Palo Alto music school with negligence for allowing a known drug addict with sexual perversion tendencies to give one-on-one music lessons to a vulnerable 14-year-old girl.

The lawsuit was filed against the School of Rock franchise in Palo Alto along with the national franchisor, School of Rock, in Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of “Jane Doe” by Corsiglia McMahon & Allard partner and former California Attorney of the Year, Robert Allard.

In June 2018, John Patrick Root pleaded guilty to multiple counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child and served one year in Santa Clara County jail and is now a registered sex offender.

Root is a childhood friend of Felix Archuleta, co-owner of the music school. The Palo Alto School of Rock franchise was owned by Archuleta and Jackson Hansel Lynn under an LLC they formed, Because We Rock.

“Root never should have been allowed to step foot in a School of Rock classroom, particularly where he would have private access to children”, Allard said. “A routine Google search would have revealed that he was intimately engaged in pornography. His old friend Archuleta surely knew about this as well as his history of using hardcore drugs.”

Root’s relationship with the girl crossed numerous boundaries between January and July 2017, the lawsuit says. At that time, Root had relapsed into drug abuse and told the girl about his desire to have a sexual relationship with her. They began exchanging sexually explicit messages and photographs, and Root pressured her into having sex with him.

“This isn’t the first time the national School of Rock franchise has been in trouble for hiring sex abusers,” Allard said. “We know there have been at least five other child sex abuse cases that occurred between 2014 and 2017 involving School of Rock franchises.”

The Palo Alto case is particularly egregious because School of Rock did not suspend or fire Root when Archuleta learned that Root was engaged in inappropriate boundary violations and had romantic feelings for his underage female student. Instead, he was merely cautioned “Keep it to the music, man.”

Under California law, Archuleta and School of Rock are considered “mandatory reporters,” meaning they were required to report suspected abuse to law enforcement.

“They not only enabled abuse, but worse they didn’t notify police despite red flags being all over the place,” Allard said. “Instead, we believe that they tried to cover it up to protect the reputation of their business. In doing so, they acted with reckless disregard for their students’ safety.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the harm done to the minor child.

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