Whether working with minors or adults, educators should err on the side of caution and strive to maintain a professional distance from their students. Otherwise, they might find themselves in a precarious situation, with seemingly innocent actions or words misconstrued as a sexual harassment attempt.
While most teachers would never harm their students, others cross boundaries and assume that they won't get caught – until they do, years later. For one private school teacher at Portsmouth Abbey School, allegations of sexual abuse surfaced nearly a decade after happening.
The plaintiff, Jane Doe, also plans to sue her school for referring her to a Catholic law firm for help. Since Portsmouth Abbey School is a Catholic school, the victim claims that the referral was a scheme to delay her lawsuit filing.
Doe was a minor when the alleged assault took place and claims that the school took no measures to investigate her claims or stop the teacher. This case is just one example of how old allegations can resurface years later and the damage they cause to schools and teachers.
Facing Sexual Assault Accusations as an Educator
Victims file thousands of sexual assault cases against staff members every year in the United States. Since educators are in positions of trust, sexual misconduct allegations destroy their reputations swiftly and, in some cases, permanently.
If you face sexual assault accusations, you can take steps to decrease the likelihood of a negative outcome:
- Control your emotions: Sexual misconduct charges are emotionally-charged and may cause feelings of anger and resentment. Avoid letting your emotions take precedence over logic, maintain a clear head, and never retaliate against the accuser or make statements to others that you'll regret later.
- Create a strategy: A sexual misconduct charge can ruin your reputation, career, and relationships with family and friends. Do not assume that the issue will blow over or that you'll be in the clear if allegations are false. You must create a defense strategy and incorporate a knowledgeable advisor's guidance for the best possible outcome.
- Contact a professional advisor: You don't have to weather the storm alone. Unlike Portsmouth Abbey School, most schools will deal with the allegations immediately and harshly. The advice and support of an Attorney-Advisor like Joseph D. Lento are invaluable during this process.
- Gather evidence and witnesses: Ethics panels rely on evidence to prove or discredit a sexual misconduct case. Text messages, email trails, camera footage, and other evidence help bolster your claims and prove your innocence. Witness statements and character testimonials are equally effective.
Call the Lento Law Firm for Defense and Support
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm help staff members accused of sexual misconduct seek justice by reviewing evidence and uncovering the facts. With his aggressive defense strategy and emphasis on protecting clients from baseless allegations, attorney-advisor Lento boosts your confidence and chances of success.
You've worked years to become a staff member or teacher, and such allegations can undo your efforts. Don't let a sexual misconduct accusation derail your career and permanently damage your reputation.
Call the Lento Law Firm now at 888-535-3686 to review your options and discuss your case in confidence.