LOS GATOS, Calif. (KRON) — The Los Gatos Union School District agreed to pay $5.1 million to two men who were sexually abused as children by Joseph Brian Houg, who worked as a Blossom Hill Elementary School teacher and youth theater director. 

The teacher was sentenced in late 2021 to serve 35 years in prison for molesting 10 former Blossom Hill students. Houg, 51, of San Jose, previously pleaded no contest to 10 felony counts.

The lawsuit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court by attorneys for Corsiglia McMahon & Allard on behalf of the John Doe 1 and John Doe 2. Under the new settlement, John Doe 1 will receive $900,000, and John Doe 2 will receive $4.2 million.

“John Doe 2 was so ashamed and disgusted by the abuse that he took a cup of scalding hot water and purposely poured it onto his penis in an attempt to genitally mutilate himself,” the lawsuit states.

John Doe 2 suffered “horrific” abuse, and he continues to suffer from severe anxiety and depression, attorney Mark Boskovich said.

After years of sexually abusing students, Houg was finally caught during the pandemic when he asked two 13-year-old boys to engage in inappropriate conduct during separate Zoom videoconferences, according to attorneys.

In the spring of 2020, Houg taught theater to students via Zoom video for distance learning. He instructed one of the boys to expose his abdominal muscles and the other boy to “shake his butt” while wearing only underwear, the lawsuit states.

The boys reported Houg and he was arrested in September 2020 by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies. After he was arrested and suspended without pay by the school district, several more victims came forward.

“Pedophiles go where the kids are,” Boskovich said.

“The school district failed to discipline Houg or supervise him more closely after multiple verbal abuse and sexual harassment complaints and this settlement acknowledges that fact. We uncovered evidence of at least eleven complaints that were brought to the school’s attention between 2001 and 2020. This was unprecedented,” Boskovich said.

The attorneys are calling on the school district to look at administrators who failed to take action against Houg.

“The school administrators involved in these complaints failed to protect these kids. Had the district documented and investigated the early complaints and properly supervised Houg, many kids would have been spared,” Boskovich said.