PRINCIPAL INDICTED IN MOLESTATION CASE (Accused of Allowing Counselor to Abuse Students)
Joanne L. Talazus, the principal of Longview Elementary School, faces up to four years in prison after a grand jury indicted her for failing to stop a school counselor from sexually molesting students. She is charged with felony child abuse and misdemeanor neglect after she allegedly ignored reports going back to 1994 that counselor Ronald Maldonado Ruelas had been molesting students. Talazus had allegedly seen the injuries on some of the children and received reports that children had been abused, but did nothing about them. Ruelas was indicted in February on 23 counts of sexual abuse and indecent exposure involving nine children and has been fired by the district. He allegedly fondled them on the playground, exposed his genitalia and showed them pornography. He sexually molested one of the boys after courting him for three years.