SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A lawsuit filed in April alleges a former teacher at Capital Christian School abused several students in the 1980s and that nothing was done to protect them.
Capital Christian School, Capital Christian Center and former teacher David Arnold are named in the complaint, along with several unnamed defendants. The complaint lists five men as the plaintiffs: David “Scott” Sorgea, Darren Sorgea, Dan Schumacher, Robbe Taylor and Kevin Williams. It also lists damages for negligence, negligent supervision and retention, negligence per se, sexual harassment, and sexual battery. The suit was first reported by the Sacramento Bee.
The complaint says Arnold taught at Capital Christian School between around 1980 and 1983. He was also reportedly a yearbook advisor, newspaper advisor and football coach.
According to the complaint, Scott Sorgea and Williams, who were about 16 at the time, were placed in Arnold’s class before their junior year. When they met him, Arnold allegedly introduced himself saying, “God has called me to take care of you in every way possible.”
The complaint alleges that that was the beginning of Arnold’s “emotional, psychological, and physical grooming of Scott Sorgea and (Williams).” Arnold allegedly “openly developed a close friendship with Scott.” According to the complaint, Scott Sorgea was shown “extreme favoritism” and was bought “expensive meals almost daily.”
Arnold is accused of then starting to give Scott money, and eventually giving him even more expensive gifts.
The complaint says Arnold also had open physical contact with Scott Sorgea and Williams. It says he would often stop “the boys in the hallways around CCS’s campus. … grab Scott and Kevin and wrestle with them, pulling their arms behind their backs or wrapping his arm around their necks. … wrestle with Kevin and Scott in plain view of the staff, faculty, and administration on CCS’s campus in the middle of the school day.”
According to the complaint, after continued “grooming” of Scott Sorgea, Arnold asked if he would help him grade papers for money. The complaint says Arnold “lulled” Scott Sorgea into a false sense of security, leading to more frequent nights at Arnold’s apartment.
Arnold allegedly later offered Scott Sorgea “an opportunity to make twice as much money.”
The complaint says, “Arnold explained that he would ‘hogtie’ Scott, and, if Scott escaped his bindings, Arnold would pay him double the amount offered for grading papers. Scott agreed to the ‘game,’ and Arnold watched as Scott wiggled his way out of the ACE Bandages Arnold had used to tie Scott’s wrists and ankles.
After having escaped, Scott collected the money from Arnold. This ‘game’ occurred at least three more times before Arnold began adding even more “disturbing elements.”
Capital Christian School in a statement said they were “heartbroken to learn of the reports impacting individuals who were students … in the 1980s …our heart is for the welfare of those affected, and we are praying for them as we process this news. We take seriously the institutional responsibility that follows these allegations and are working with our legal team to pursue a rightful response.”
The complaint alleges Arnold followed a similar pattern of inviting Williams, Darren Sorgea, Schumacher and Taylor to grade papers at his apartment, eventually leading to similar abuse.
According to the complaint, Arnold threatened Taylor’s “grades, and insinuated that there may be other consequences if (Taylor) told anyone what had happened.”
According to the complaint, Taylor went to the vice principal at the time, Susan Catlett, who had previously been a guidance counselor. The complaint says Catlett told (Taylor) they were also looking into other similar complaints about Arnold.
“She told (Taylor) not to mention the abuse to anyone and that she would ‘handle’ Arnold. Despite Catlett’s promises, “nothing was done,” the complaint says.
The complaint, aside from alleging abuse, also accuses Capital Christian School, Capital Christian Center and several others of negligence and failing to report accusations to a child protective agency.
Arnold most recently worked at Indiana Wesleyan University.
A statement from the university provided to Fox 40 said, “WU no longer employs Dr. Arnold. He was employed by IWU-National & Global, our adult learning/online program. He was employed from 2003 to Spring 2022.”
The plaintiffs have requested a jury trial.
Capital Christian’s statement can be read in full below:
Sacramento, Calif., May 3, 2022 – We are heartbroken to learn of the reports impacting individualsCapital Christian School
who were students at Capital Christian School in the 1980s which were detailed in legal documents
in April 2022.
Our heart is for the welfare of those affected, and we are praying for them as we process this news.
We take seriously the institutional responsibility that follows these allegations and are working with
our legal team to pursue a rightful response.
Further, we take seriously the responsibility of protecting the students that have been entrusted to
our care. As such, we undertake staff background checks, provide mandated reporter trainings, sexual
harassment trainings, and employ other safeguards. We are in compliance with state and federal
standards regarding employee and volunteer training.
At Capital Christian School, we remain committed to our mission to empower world changers in
academic excellence, athletic distinction, artistic expression, and social engagement all through a
spiritual pursuit of biblical truth.