School district agrees to settle teacher’s suit over alleged rape

Daily Post Staff Writer

The Mountain View Whisman School District has agreed to settle a lawsuit from a former teacher who was allegedly raped by her colleague, court records show.

The former teacher said that she was raped by first-grade teacher Bryan Rios, 36, of Santa Clara, even though the district had complaints about his aggressive behavior around female teachers at Theuerkauf Elementary School.

“Several teachers had brought up concerns about Mr. Rios’ tendencies to be aggressive, hostile, and to say inappropriate, sexually tinged comments at work,” the former teacher said in her lawsuit, which was filed anonymously.

“MVWSD had enough knowledge to identify the red flags inherent to Rios’ behavior so as to prevent his heinous conduct,” the teacher said.

In response, the district said that administrators acted “quickly and effectively” after the former teacher complained about the assault in November 2017.

Rios was placed on leave and never returned, and the other teacher was relocated to Huff Elementary School.

“The district’s response to her allegations of assault were swift and completely in (her) favor,” attorney Mark Davis said for the district.

Davis said he couldn’t disclose the settlement details because the proposal still needs to be reviewed by the board.

Back and forth

The former teacher said the district offered her $35,000 to settle, and she demanded $170,000. The case was scheduled to go to a jury trial on Monday this week, but the tentative agreement canceled the trial.

Rios was first arrested in December 2017 for allegedly raping two to four women, including the one who sued. But prosecutors said they didn’t have enough evidence to charge Rios at the time.

That changed in October when a former student told a social worker that when she was 6 or 7 years old, Rios molested her at Theuerkauf Elementary School.

The girl, now 12, said Rios was sitting next to her at a table with other students and touched her between her legs, according to the police report.

Charged in November

Rios was arrested on Nov. 20 and charged with lewd acts with a minor.

Prosecutors added felony charges on Jan. 30 related to unconscious rape and sodomy of an adult victim in 2017.

Judge Thomas Kuhnle last month agreed to release Rios on house arrest while the charges against him are pending.

Rios’s attorney said that his alleged victims aren’t credible, and the district made a similar argument.

The teacher who sued the district was in a consensual relationship with Rios, and the alleged attack happened while they were alone at his apartment. The district said the teacher had “substantial credibility issue” because she kept talking to Rios following his arrest while telling the district that she feared for her life.

The teacher said that four other women made complaints about Rios.

A judge will review the settlement and consider dismissing the case on Sept. 19, court records show.

Second lawsuit

A second teacher, Crysti Flowers-Haywood, is also suing the district. She started at Theuerkauf Elementary School in August 2017, at the same time as the first teacher.

Flowers-Haywood said that Principal Ryan Santiago assigned her as “teacher in charge,” and she was “immediately disturbed” by Rios’s behavior and attitude.

“Rios could be very charming and was flirting with younger, female teachers at the school,” her lawsuit said. “She observed him commenting on female teachers’ clothes, how they wore their hair and making sexual innuendos to them. She understood that he would incessantly ask young teachers to go out with him, refusing to take no for an answer, and making these teachers feel uncomfortable around him.”

Flowers-Haywood said that she was fired for complaining to Santiago about Rios. Her case is scheduled to go to trial in September, barring another settlement.