As we recently saw in the Jerry Sandusky and Philadelphia Archdiocese cases here in Pennsylvania, even the most cunning sexual predators can be stopped. Even when they are, however, the effects of the sexual abuse (post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships, suicidal thoughts, etc.) may continue to affect victims for the rest of their lives.
This is particularly true in cases where the abuse went on for years, as has been alleged in a lawsuit recently filed against one school district on the West Coast.
The plaintiff who filed that suit says that officials with the Moraga School District in Contra Costa County, California, ignored evidence of rampant sexual abuse at the middle school she attended in the 1990s and spent years protecting sexually abusive middle school teachers.
The woman says a male science teacher who had been hired by the district in 1990, despite being a known sexual predator, was the first person at the school to sexually abuse her. She was 11 at that time. The science teacher in question committed suicide in 1996 after public allegations that he had sexually abused students first surfaced. School officials, however, had received sexual abuse complaints about the teacher at least two years earlier and kept him on the job nonetheless.
The complaint also states that when the plaintiff confided about the science teacher's sexual abuse with her female physical education teacher, the phy-ed teacher used the information to gain her trust and began to sexually abuse her as well. That abusive relationship, the plaintiff says, continued on into her high school years and became gradually more abusive. At one point, the teacher even gave the student a cellphone and demanded she call every night. The teacher also allegedly used the threat of suicide and physical violence to persuade the girl not to report the sexual abuse.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Abuse Victim Says Her School Was a Haven for Predators," William Dotinga, Oct. 1, 2012