Local pleads not guilty to molestation charges

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A Culver City woman charged with sexually molesting a young woman when she was a teenager has pleaded not guilty.

Former Loyola Marymount University professor Elizabeth Brewer entered her plea on Dec. 29 at a hearing at the Airport Courthouse. Brewer, 39, faces six felony sexual assault charges, including three counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object, two counts of oral copulation with a minor and one count of forcible oral copulation. She was arrested by Culver City police in October.

During the time she was employed as an English teacher at Notre Dame Academy, a Catholic all-girls school in West Los Angeles, Brewer allegedly began sexually molesting a student over a three-year period beginning in 2003. The student, now 25, later enrolled at LMU, where Brewer was a professor in the university’s Specialized Programs in Urban Education.

A civil suit was filed against Brewer on Nov. 20 by the alleged victim.  Notre Dame and LMU have also been named as defendants.

In the civil action, the plaintiff accuses LMU of failing to report the plaintiff’s claims of prior sexual abuse to law enforcement. “LMU is required to report what they were told to the police as a mandated reporter,” said David Ring, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys.

Mandated reporters are professionals required by state law to report allegations of child abuse or neglect, including doctors, teachers, school administrators, social workers and police.

“In summer 2009, fearing that Brewer would abuse other students and continue her sexual harassment and abuse of the plaintiff, plaintiff scheduled a meeting with the Loyola Student Affairs office, where she reported Brewer’s prior sexual abuse,” the complaint states. “Loyola Student Affairs high-ranking personnel told plaintiff that they could not do anything about the abuse and then suggested that plaintiff enroll in different classes to avoid seeing Brewer on campus.

Ring said he did not expect the civil case to begin until the criminal charges against Brewer are decided.

Brewer is scheduled to appear in court again on Jan. 20. She faces up to 21 years in prison if she is convicted.

Local pleads not guilty to molestation charges