Former vice principal Raul Ramirez gets strong backing despite sex case conviction.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Jane Doe did everything she could to keep her relationship with former El Sausal Middle School and Alisal High School Vice Principal Raul Ramirez a secret. When the cops started asking questions, Ramirez told her to destroy the memory on her phone; investigators found it submerged in a glass of water.
Still, Salinas PD officers were able to extract more than 10,000 text messages exchanged between the 14-year-old girl and 38-year-old administrator.
“She was not cooperative,” Sgt. Chris Lane says. “She did not see herself as a victim. She was manipulated into thinking they had a real relationship.”
Beginning in 2010, when she was entering 8th grade, they reportedly had sex in his middle school office, his car and her parents’ bedroom. After they saw Ramirez leaving their house one day last fall, Jane Doe’s parents tipped off the police.
Ramirez was arrested Nov. 17, then pleaded guilty March to nine counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, seven counts of lewd acts on a child age 14 and two counts of meeting a minor for the purpose of sexual contact. He was sentenced to 15 years and 4 months in state prison, and is required to register as a sex offender.
Lane was disheartened when six teachers spoke out on behalf of Ramirez at his sentencing. “They still backed him, and they’re supposed to be taking care of other children,” he says.
Two days after the sentencing, Jane Doe sued Ramirez and Alisal Union School District seeking unspecified damages for embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, worry, shame and emotional distress, alleging the district was negligent in failing to prevent and then report the abuse.
El Sausal Principal Francisco Huerta was placed on temporary leave during the investigation and has since been reinstated.
School district representatives directed all questions to attorney Mark Davis of San Jose-based Davis & Young. Davis expects the district to be absolved of any and all liability.
“I don’t think there is an allegation that Mr. Ramirez did anything because he didn’t know what the rule was or hadn’t been told of the repercussions by the district,” Davis says. “I’ve never heard employees claim, ‘Only if I’d been told sex with a minor is illegal, I wouldn’t have done it.’”
To Davis’s knowledge, the district does yearly, state-mandated trainings on reporting sexual abuse. The parties are scheduled to appear in Monterey County Superior Court Sept. 7.