August 31, 2017 — Dozens of female students at John O’Connell High School in San Francisco accuse a former teacher and coach of sexual assault, according to CBS San Francisco.
At least 30 female students have come forward to accuse Bob Gamino, a former P.E. teacher and soccer coach at O’Connell High, of inappropriate sexual behavior — including verbal or physical assault.
Documents from the district’s internal investigation show that officials were aware of complaints against Gamino for at least 2 years, but took no action.
The school’s former principal Mark Alvarado “admonished Gamino for inappropriately touching two African-American female students 2 years ago,” but did not notify the district until recently.
Gamino recently became an athletic director at O’Connell and often spent time alone with female students.
Alysha Stone, former captain of the girls’ soccer team at O’Connell High, said Gamino started verbally harassing her at the beginning of the year — but his behaviors turned physical by spring semester:
“There would be times when I would be injured, so I had to sit on the bench. And he would like put his hand on my thigh. … He like grabbed right under my breast on top of my ribcage and like, why would you grab there?”
His behavior was well-known in the athletic community at the school, with upper-classmen forewarning younger students about his conduct. Students said Gamino worked to gain their trust and developed a relationship, often waiting a full year before he began assaulting a girl.
Another anonymous student also told CBS San Francisco, “He passed me and grabbed my butt and then just walked away. I thought it was an accident. Then it sunk in that it wasn’t.”
Gamino was put on administrative leave after the girls came forward with accusations in May 2017. He immediately retired voluntarily, keeping full health benefits and salary from the district.
Mark Alvarado was moved to an administrative position at Everett Middle School in response to his failure to report Gamino. Failure to report the abuse of a student is a crime, but he is not facing charges.
Do I have a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
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