School insurer pays $1.2M to settle sex abuse lawsuit

Phaedra Haywood
phaywood@sfnewmexican.com
Posted 12/9/19

New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority has paid $1.2 million to settle a claim filed by the guardians of a student who was sexually abused by a former assistant basketball coach at Pecos High School, a spokesman for the insurer confirmed Friday.

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School insurer pays $1.2M to settle sex abuse lawsuit

Posted

New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority has paid $1.2 million to settle a claim filed by the guardians of a student who was sexually abused by a former assistant basketball coach at Pecos High School, a spokesman for the insurer confirmed Friday.

Dominick Baca, 30, pleaded guilty to raping the girl — and another student — at his home between 2017 and 2018 as part of an agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

The 14-year-old girl told investigators that she met Baca through his position as coordinator of a program called GEAR-UP, designed to increase the number of graduates attending college, and the two would exchange texts. The girl met him in his car outside her house, and Baca coerced her to perform oral sex after she declined to have intercourse with him, according to an affidavit for arrest warrant in the case. Two weeks later, they had sex in his bedroom, according to the warrant.

A 17-year-old told state police she met Baca in his office after receiving Snapchat messages from him. According to the warrant, Baca kissed the girl in his office and grabbed her breast over her clothes before they met at his house in mid-March 2018 and had sex, according to the warrant.

The Pecos Independent School District reached a settlement with the 17-year-old girl in January in which the insurer agreed to pay her $290,000.

Baca is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced in late January.

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