Judgment of $10 million dropped to $50,000 against man who allegedly molested juvenile

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A $10 million judgment against a former computer lab tech who allegedly molested a girl at an after-school program has been reduced to $50,000, according to court records.

A Kern County judge granted the reduction earlier this year after examining Jonathan Avalos’ income and finding he would be unable to pay anywhere close to the amount the jury awarded, according to court documents.

At the time of judgment, Avalos was working at a Starbucks and earning close to minimum wage, the documents said.

“A $10 million judgment is clearly beyond the ability of Avalos to pay and disproportionate to any ability to pay as established by the evidence,” according to the court filing.

The court found the evidence supported some amount of punitive damages, and imposed the $50,000 judgment instead.

The decision does not impact the $1.5 million the Lamont Elementary School District and Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County agreed to pay before Avalos’ civil trial early this year.

The district and the organization jointly held the after-school program where the alleged molestation occurred.

Avalos worked for the district for eight years before resigning in 2014 after the girl reported the alleged molestation to the school office. She was 7 years old when the alleged molestation began in 2011, according to her attorney, Daniel Rodriguez.

The District Attorney’s office did not find sufficient evidence to criminally charge Avalos.

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