Second Victim Sues Chico Unified School District for Alleged Sexual Abuse by Pre… – Press Release

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif., May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A second victim has filed a lawsuit, through Mary Alexander & Associates, alleging former Bidwell Junior High School Spanish teacher Jennifer L. Smith sexually assaulted her when she was a 13-year-old student.  Smith is currently serving a five-year prison sentence after admitting in court papers and being convicted of sexually abusing another student, Jane Doe, for years.

The survivor, called “Jane Doe 2″ to protect her identity, brought this lawsuit to shed light on a pattern of behavior that has altered her life forever. The girl was an eighth-grade student in Smith’s Spanish class at Bidwell Junior High School and was just 13 when she alleges Smith sexually molested, abused, and assaulted her during the 2004-2005 school year.

Smith, the Spanish teacher, began manipulating the girl by “grooming” her with the intent to gain her trust and then sexually abuse her. Jane Doe 2 was being bullied by fellow students, something Smith knew, and the school should have known. Smith began gaining Jane Doe 2’s trust by having Jane Doe 2 eat lunch in her classroom alone with her, and then by spending several days per week together in a small room near her classroom. In that small room at the school, Smith cornered Jane Doe 2, and according to the complaint, touched and fondled Jane Doe 2’s body. 

Multiple incidents of sexual abuse and molestation occurred throughout the school year, including:

  • At a school fundraising car wash, Smith cornered Jane Doe 2 in the bathroom and exposed herself to the girl.
  • Smith had Jane Doe 2 babysit for her, and after returning home, Smith molested Jane Doe 2 in her bedroom before she drove Jane Doe 2 home.
  • After being sexually abused by Smith, Jane Doe 2 attempted to avoid her, but Smith pursued Jane Doe 2 throughout that school year, during school and after school, via inappropriate text messages, through Jane Doe 2’s friends, and more.

This abuse went on for a period of approximately six months.