Sex Abuse Suspected at Walden West
Former Walden West night manager Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla is suspected of sexually molesting at least one child and is under investigation for molesting several other victims. The Walden West molestation case has parents wondering how to protect kids who attended the Walden West camp with Covarrubias-Padilla, also known to kids as “Papa Bear”.
Background on Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla and Walden West
On May 7, authorities arrested Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla on suspicion of child porn distribution and molesting a 10-year-old child. He was charged in Santa Clara Superior Court with four felonies. They carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and four months in prison, if Covarrubias-Padilla is convicted.
Covarrubias-Padilla had served as night manager at Walden West, according to the Santa Clara County Office of Education. His responsibilities included counseling homesick children. Covarrubias-Padilla worked at both the Saratoga and Cupertino branch of Walden West.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education Response to Walden West
Following the arrest, officials at several school districts contacted parents to find out if Covarrubias-Padilla had harmed children. One unnamed parent came forward after her son reported being physically touched by the alleged perpetrator.
On May 11, Walden West’s director Anita Parsons was placed on indefinite leave of absence. The leave comes amidst accusations that she gave out false information regarding Covarrubias-Padilla’s job. Concerned parents were initially told that the accused did not come in contact with children. This information was proven false when parents and employees recalled that Covarrubias-Padilla often talked with children, sometimes alone.
For Parents of Walden West Camps
If you have reason to believe your child was affected by Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla’s allegedly inappropriate behavior, there are steps you can take immediately to protect your child from further harm.
We understand that you want to protect your child, but what are the best things to say and do? How do you process your own feelings while providing support? If you feel confused, you’re not alone.
No parent knows exactly how to act when faced with the molestation of their child.
However, this period is critical. Understand that a child molestation victim struggles with shame and fear that the sexual abuse was in some way their fault.
So what can you do?
Avoid reacting negatively or with disgust to anything your child shares. Express unconditional love, belief, and support. It is vital to your child’s emotional well-being that they feel comfortable speaking with you.
Reach out to a Counselor
If you’re having difficulty speaking to your child and engaging them in a healthy conversation, or recognize abnormal behavior, be aware that they may still be under stress. The immense trauma of sexual abuse can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, which can seriously limit your child’s ability to recover.
The impact of childhood molestation lasts a lifetime. Childhood victims of sexual abuse face higher risks of substance addiction, depression, difficulty forming healthy relationships, and even physical health problems. Victims of child molestation are also prone to panic attacks and debilitating stress that can impact healthy growth after their abuse.
There is hope. Victims who receive professional counseling, enjoy the support of their family. And as a result are encouraged to speak openly about their molestation so that they can move past their trauma and live better lives.
At this moment, Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla’s arrest has many wondering what to do next. Is a criminal conviction enough to help your family move forward?
Many parents don’t realize that they have additional legal options beyond the criminal justice system. Civil claims can provide the restitution necessary to help support your family.
Does the Santa Clara County Office of Education or Walden West Share Responsibility?
Blaming a predator is easier than holding an organization or school accountable. However, the Walden West molestation case makes it clear that Santa Clara County Office of Education and/or Walden West prioritized protecting their own staff and image over the safety of their students.
,If your child was involved with Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla and you are concerned that your child was molested, contact attorneys Robert Allard or Lauren Cerri at 408-289-1417. You can also fill out the form to the right.