South San ISD to pay $4.5M to student in sex abuse case

Former Price Elementary School Principal Michael Alcoser convicted in 2011, sentenced to 18 years

SAN ANTONIO – A legal victory was awarded Wednesday to a young man who endured years of sexual abuse from a former South San Antonio Independent School District principal.

A federal jury awarded the victim $4.5 million in damages.

The victim, who was in third grade when the molestation began at the hands of former Price Elementary School Principal Michael Alcoser, filed a civil suit against the district when he turned 18, claiming they violated Title 9 of the Civil Rights Act.

After two days of trial the jury ruled in favor of the victim.

"They decided that, yes, the school district was responsible for the conduct of the vice principal/principal -- that he was indifferent to the welfare of the child all this time, and the jury awarded damages in the form of $4.5 million," said Ricardo Garcia, the victim's attorney.

Alcoser was convicted of the crimes in 2011 and sentenced to 18 years.

The assaults continued during the boy's time in the fourth and fifth grade and when Alcoser was promoted to principal at Carrillo Elementary, where the boy was a sixth grader.

The sex abuse occurred in Alcoser's office while he was reportedly tutoring the boy.

Garcia said the victim is still trying to put his life back together but is pleased with Wednesday's verdict.

"He's glad in twofold: He was glad when the principal was convicted and is serving time as we speak and he's glad now that the school district has been found to be responsible because to this day, they've never been willing to accept any responsibility," Garcia said.

A South San ISD spokesperson said the district plans to appeal the verdict.

About the Author:

Tim Gerber is an investigative reporter and anchor on the KSAT Defenders team.