For the fifth time in eight years, a Redlands Unified School District employee has been accused of sexually abusing students.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: April 17, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Updated: April 18, 2018 at 8:56 am

The Redlands Unified School District on Tuesday was slapped with another sexual abuse lawsuit alleging a former Redlands High School theater technician had an intimate three-year relationship with a female student beginning when she was 15 years old.

Daniel Bachman, a former technical director for the school’s theater department, is alleged to have “sexually abused and harassed” the student, identified as “Jane RKD Doe,” from 2011 through 2013, according to the lawsuit filed in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Bachman even admitted to having a sexual relationship with the former student during an August 2015 interview with Redlands police Detective Kelli Bishop. But the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office did not charge Bachman with any crime, according to police reports filed in the case.

Bachman is the fifth former school district employee in the last eight years to be accused of sexually abusing students at Redlands high schools. Most of the alleged incidents involved former Redlands High School teachers. Morgan Stewart, whose Irvine law firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi represented the former students in all the cases, insists the district has a “pattern and practice of allowing staff members to sexually assault, harass and molest students within its district boundaries.”

Furthermore, the suit alleges instances of sexual abuse are not properly reported by the school district to law enforcement in a timely manner, and mandatory state reporting laws are routinely violated, an allegation the district denies.

Bachman was a “part-time stage technician who worked sporadically” for the district from 2011 to 2015, district spokeswoman MaryRone Shell said in an email Tuesday. She declined comment on the lawsuit because the district had yet to be served.

“It would be irresponsible for us to comment without first receiving all the information pertaining to these allegations and reviewing it with our legal counsel,” Shell said.

Stephen Harber, the attorney representing the school district in the sex abuse litigation, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Bachman could not be reached for comment.

Stewart’s firm sued the school district in May 2011 on behalf of a former Redlands East Valley High School student who alleged she was preyed upon and sexually abused by former soccer coach Megan Kelly, a former nightclub stripper, from January through May 2009. At the time of the alleged abuse, Kelly was using the surname Cullen. The district settled with the former student for $505,000 in 2013. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the district did not admit any liability.
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