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Report on school district’s investigation into Nipomo wrestling coach released

Posted: 6:49 PM, Sep 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-28 01:04:32-04

Documents related to the Lucia Mar Unified School District’s investigation into former Nipomo High School girls wrestling coach Justin Magdaleno have been made public after the San Luis Obispo Tribune filed a lawsuit against the district for access to the information.

Students and several members of the faculty at Nipomo High School gave statements to investigators that are revealed in the 15-page report.

The report was compiled as the school district looked into claims of sexual harassment and assault by Magdaleno.

Many of those who were interviewed stated Magdaleno frequently used profanity around the team and often made them feel uncomfortable during practices, using statements such as “You’re worthless” and “You’d look ugly in a dress.”

Magdaleno was placed on leave as a result of the investigation. Before that, the school district wrote Magdaleno a letter telling him to stop wrestling with his female students and to have a female coach present at all times.

Documents show they also promised him that the letter, as well as all of their investigative reports, would not be put in his personnel file.

Click here to read the full investigative report.

While Magdaleno was on leave, he was still getting paid by the school district and continued to get paid through June of this year when he officially resigned.

No criminal charges were ever filed against Magdaleno because the district attorney’s office said there was insufficient evidence, but one of his accusers is now suing him. She’s being represented by Gloria Allred.

Magdaleno filed a response in court denying all claims of sexual assault.

KSBY reached out to all parties involved in this case, including Allred, Magdaleno’s attorney, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, Lucia Mar Unified School District, and tried to contact Magdaleno himself; however, none of them were able to provide a statement at this time.

Gloria Allred released the following statement:

The District’s own investigation into the numerous allegations against Magdaleno found that his conduct as the Coach of the girls’ wrestling team violated the District’s policies and procedures prohibiting sexual harassment and retaliation.

The Tribune’s reporting of the contents of Mr. David’s 10/12/17 letter to Magdaleno is that administration told Magdaleno that the allegations would not even go into his personnel file. Not only did the school minimize the allegations (and not try to investigate further) but also the school was going to give him a clean record and free pass to go to another school without any flags about the allegations.

These actions put the safety of children at risk and appear to violate the responsibility of the school district to protect children.