Originally posted at 3:13 p.m. June 19, 2014. Edited with new details.
A former fourth-grade teacher at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing three students at the Wilmington campus, as well as a female relative.
Robert Pimentel, 58, of Newport Beach, pleaded no contest last month to three felony counts of committing a lewd act on a child involving students in the 2011-12 school year and one count of continuous sexual abuse involving a female relative between 2002 and 2004.
Pimentel's attorney, Leonard Levine, said his client felt the deal was fair.
"He will serve approximately eight more years before he is out on parole, and we agreed that was a fair resolution of the case," Levine said.
Pimentel began working for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1974 and was removed from the classroom when the investigation began in March 2012, according to police and the school district.
LAPD Detective Gus Villanueva previously said the investigation "began when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by a fourth grade teacher."
According to the LAUSD, parents at the school were notified within 72 hours of Pimentel's removal from the classroom last year.
The district began efforts to fire him, but Pimentel opted to retire.
Pimentel -- charged in January 2013 -- was ordered to stand trial in May 2013 on six counts of continuous sexual abuse and eight counts of lewd act upon a child involving nine students and one female relative.
Ten of those charges involving six former students at the school were dismissed as a result of his plea, the prosecutor said.
John Manly, an attorney representing 15 girls in lawsuits against the LAUSD, said the district should be held accountable for Pimentel's actions. He said the district "repeatedly failed to protect young children from Pimentel and will be asked to compensate Pimentel's victims for their suffering."
"There are 13 or 14 little girls upstairs in that courtroom who are emotionally slaughtered by that pervert because (the district) kept it secret," Manly said.
Attorneys already have filed two lawsuits against the district, alleging that a former principal was told in 2002 and 2009 that Pimentel was abusing children, but the principal failed to report the allegations.
--City News Service