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Former Highland High vice principal accused of sexually abusing minor

Posted: 12:23 PM, Jan 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-30 20:54:12-05
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The former vice principal at Highland High School is being accused of sexually abusing a former student.

Court documents obtained by 23ABC accuse Mark Weir of sexually abusing a former student from 2009 through 2017.

Weir and the Kern High School District are being named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges sexual abuse of a minor; intentional infliction of emotional distress; sexual harassment; negligent hiring, supervision and retention of an unfit employee; breach of mandatory duty: failure to report suspect child abuse; negligent failure to warn, train or educate; negligent supervision of a minor; and negligence.

The suit alleges that the plaintiff, John Doe, was 16 years old when he began going to Highland for his junior year in 2009-2010. Weir was principal at the time. Documents state Weir was 47 at the time.

Documents show that John Doe was homeless and was invited to participate in a financial program for homeless students at Highland. Weir was in charge of the program and of choosing students who would receive financial assistance from the school.

The suit claims in 2009, "Weir took advantage of his position of authority over Plaintiff, and engaged in a course of emotional and financial manipulation to exploit Plaintiff's young age, fragile mental state and status as a homeless student during a particularly vulnerable time in Plaintiff's young life."

Documents state that in the fall of 2009, Weir texted John Doe and asked him to meet him in the parking lot of a Foster's Freeze. John Doe agreed and met Weir at the restaurant. Once there, the suit claims Weir requested John Doe to get in the car. Once he did, "Weir locked his car doors and orally copulated Plaintiff."

In November of 2009, Weir allegedly asked about John Doe's sexuality, had sexual conversations with him and touched and rubbed John Doe's body while inside Weir's car.

In February, Weir allegedly called John Doe to his office. Weir allegedly placed his hands inside John Doe's "underwear and began to masturbate and orally copulate" him.

The suit claims other incidents continued through 2017.

Documents show the complaint was filed Monday. In it, Weir is listed as "a current Site Administrator at Nueva Continuation High School" within the Kern High School District.

23ABC contacted Nueva Continuation asking to speak to Weir. 23ABC was told, "Mark is no longer with us" and "is retired".

Kern High School District released a statement, calling the allegations made "very troubling and the alleged behavior, if true, is reprehensible and goes against our core values as educators."

The Kern High School District was shocked and disturbed to learn of allegations against former employee Mark Weir regarding inappropriate conduct with a former student. The District followed its mandated reporting requirements and cooperated with the Bakersfield Police Department. Mr. Weir was placed on administrative leave and removed from contact with students and staff pending the outcome of the investigation. The allegations made in the lawsuit are very troubling and the alleged behavior, if true, is reprehensible and goes against our core values as educators. The KHSD and its schools remain committed to the safety and well-being of students, staff, and the Kern High School District community.

According to former student's attorney Paul Mones the lawsuit was filed Monday July, 28 and served Tuesday July, 29.

Mones said the former student is still dealing with the after math of the alleged abuse, "As a result of this what happened to him he sustained serious and longterm injuries."Mones said his client has suffered mentally from the alleged abuse and is now receiving support.

Documents also show the alleged abused continued after the parking lot incident. It claims Weir made sexual advances towards the young boy in his office at the high school including touching, sexual conversations and acts which continued until 2011.

KHSD still had Mark Weir listed on their website on their staff directory today but according to a statement released by KHSD Weir was placed on administrative leave in July of 2018. KHSD said they were made aware of the allegations and reported the alleged abuse in July to Bakersfield Police. Weir eventually retired in September.

23ABC News reached out to Bakersfield Police about their investigation. Officials could not confirm it was the same case, but said they did have a criminal investigation involving Weir and a minor that was sexual in nature. BPD could not confirm the relationship between Weir and the minor, but officials said they submitted their case to the Kern County District Attorney's office. The DA's office refused to file charges due to lack of evidence in August of last year and BPD said the case is no longer being investigated.

Despite the lack of criminal charges, Mones said his client wants to ensure the district takes the right steps and others are not subjected to similar acts he is alleging, "He's feeling like he wants to obtain justice and feeling like the school needs to be held responsible for what happened to him when he was a student."