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Nipomo High girls wrestling coach accused of sexual assault no longer employed by district

Former Nipomo High School girls wrestling coach Justin Magdaleno is accused of sexually assaulting members of the wrestling team in a lawsuit filed Thursday by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred.
Former Nipomo High School girls wrestling coach Justin Magdaleno is accused of sexually assaulting members of the wrestling team in a lawsuit filed Thursday by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

A former Nipomo High School girls wrestling coach accused of sexually abusing a student is no longer employed by the school, according to a statement released Friday by the Lucia Mar Unified School District.

Justin Magdaleno reached an agreement with the district to terminate his employment contract effective June 30, the statement says. Under the terms of the agreement, Magdaleno can “never be re-hired for any position with LMUSD.”

Magdaleno was paid $31,812 in wages as part of the June separation agreement, the statement said, “which also says that there is no admission of fault or wrongdoing by either party.”

The announcement comes on the heels of celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred filing a lawsuit Aug. 16 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on behalf of a teenage student that named the Lucia Mar Unified School District, Nipomo High School and Magdaleno as defendants. It alleged negligent supervision and training, sexual harassment, sexual battery, battery and assault.

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Magdaleno was suspended from the school district in October 2017 following allegations from students of inappropriate touching. Several parents spoke to The Tribune under condition of anonymity and said about 10 Nipomo High School girls wrestling team members came forward with accusations of inappropriate touching and comments by Magdaleno.

An investigation by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office concluded that prosecutors should file multiple charges of lewd acts with a minor under 14 years old and annoying or molesting a child under 18.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth, however, said Aug. 16 that the DA’s Office also conducted their own review of the case and declined to file charges. Dobroth said his office found there was insufficient evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

The school district said the lawsuit asserts multiple claims that had not previously been alleged against Magdaleno or the district. The school district forwarded a copy of the lawsuit to law enforcement for further investigation, and is performing its own investigation into the new allegations.

The school district said in its statement Friday it is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all students, as well as “an environment that is free from sexual harassment by adults and students.”

Tribune staff writer Matt Fountain contributed to this story.

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