A girl who was abused by the athletic director of her Catholic high school will be paid $8 million by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Juan Ivan Barajas, a health teacher and athletic director at San Gabriel Mission High School, began sexually abusing the girl when she was 15, according to court documents that were reported on by USA Today. In 2016, Barajas kidnapped the girl after his wife discovered what was happening. He flew to Las Vegas with the girl but was arrested five days later and the girl was rescued.
“The archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”
There were several complaints made about Barajas’ behavior toward female students. In 2015, a coach complained that Barajas had taken a girl into his office more than 15 times, and they were later seen leaving a basement office in the school fixing their clothes.
Barajas, now 38, has pleaded guilty to felony statutory sexual seduction and was sentenced to six years in prison.
The archdiocese has paid more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements over the last 15 years.