Another Lawsuit Filed Against Convicted Indian Wells Teacher, School District

Another Lawsuit Filed Against Convicted Indian Wells Teacher, School District

News Staff

Another former student of an Indian Wells elementary school teacher who molested several of his female students sued the former educator and the Desert Sands Unified School District.

The plaintiff, identified only as “C.B.” in court documents, alleges she was inappropriately touched “on numerous occasions” while she was a student in Robert Keith Bryan’s fourth-grade class at Gerald Ford Elementary School.

Desert Sands Unified officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the suit, which was filed May 15.

Bryan was arrested in 2012 and later charged with 17 felony and misdemeanor counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with minors and child annoyance. He pleaded guilty to four felony and four misdemeanor counts in 2016 and is serving a nine-year prison term.

According to the lawsuit, C.B. was a student in Bryan’s class during the 2009-2010 school year. She claims that in addition to being molested herself, she also witnessed other students being abused. According to the lawsuit, C.B. was also photographed by Bryan on numerous occasions, sometimes secretly.

Several lawsuits have been filed in recent years against Bryan and the district. Three students, identified only as G.C., T.P. and L.F., have reached settlements with the district out of court, while two other lawsuits — filed on behalf of “Jane Doe 1” and “Jane Doe 2” — are pending. The lawsuits cover schools years at Gerald Ford Elementary spanning from 2009 to 2012, when Bryan was arrested.

As with the other suits, C.B. accuses the school district of failing to fire Bryan even after discovering that he’d behaved inappropriately with students, dating back to 1992.

The suits accuse the district of transferring Bryan from one school to another, rather than firing him while he was the subject of administrative investigations into allegations of inappropriately touching female students. On one occasion, he was suspended from work for 10 days, but was otherwise undisciplined, the suits claim.

Bryan previously taught at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Indio and Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Palm Desert.