If there is one place you would hope to keep a convicted sex offender away from, it would probably be a school with teenagers. But according to claims, a Rancho Cucamonga construction company, Ledesma & Meyer, sent a convicted sex offender to supervise a San Bernardino middle school construction project. School officials allegedly failed to investigate the supervisor, and a 13 year old girl was assaulted and allegedly raped.
The parents of the teenage girl involved have filed a lawsuit against school officials, school police and the construction company involved. The suit claims $5 million in damages for the teenage girl and $2 million in damages for the family.
Thirty-eight year-old Darold Jay Hecht has already been convicted of molesting the teenage girl. He was convicted last year and sentenced to 24 years. His prior sex offense convictions include one relating to a 15 year old girl while he was a 26 year old off-duty San Jose firefighter in 1998.
According to the civil complaint, Hecht was allegedly assigned by Ledesma & Meyer Construction Company to supervise a project at Cesar Chavez Middle School in San Bernardino, California. He was allegedly assigned to the position despite the fact that he was a twice-convicted and registered sex offender. As the San Bernardino Sun reports, a Darold Jay Hecht can be found on the California Megan's Law website, a database of convicted sex offenders. According to the complaint, Hecht is the son-in-law of an owner of the construction company.
Mike Cruz of The Sun quoted attorney Lisamarie Graham, who was outraged by the incident: "A convicted sex offender was hired to work at a middle school for several months unmonitored....The school then learned of the sexual abuse and did not contact the parents or protect the victim ... It is absolutely unacceptable."
Ledesma & Meyer declined comment and referred reporters to attorney Geoffrey H. Hopper. San Bernardino City Unified School District spokeswoman Linda Bardere said that the district is aware of the claim but are unsure of the next step.
- Parents sue construction firm in rape (San Bernardino Sun)
- Sex Offenders and Sex Offenses: Overview (FindLaw)
- Registration Requirements: Impact of Jacob Wetterling (FindLaw)
- Community Notification Laws (FindLaw)
- Personal Injury Overview (provided by Westmoreland Patterson Moseley & Hinson L.L.P.)
- Personal Injury FAQs (provided by Hollis & Wright, P.C.)