WUSA has reported that a former priest has been accused of sexually abusing a boy while serving as the assistant principal at St. Paul VI Catholic High School located at 42341 Braddock Rd, Chantilly, VA 20152.
The Diocese of Arlington released the name of 69-year-old Terry Specht during a mass sexual abuse investigation in 2019. The first accusation was said to have taken place in 2000, while Specht was the assistant principal at Paul VI Catholic High School. Specht, a retired priest, also served from 2004 to 2011 as the Arlington Diocese’s Office of Child Protection and Safety director. A second assault accusation was made in 2019.
Specht was indicted on the charges on December 28, 2021, of two felony counts of sexual battery and abuse of a child.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazan represents sex abuse victims and their families in civil lawsuits. As an experienced attorney for sexual abuse in Catholic schools, Kevin has offered some information for victims sexually abused by an assistant principal.
"The safety of the Catholic school's students should be a top priority for school officials. Protections and preventative measures should be a part of every school safety plan. Unfortunately, sexual predators have been reported working in schools more often lately. These positions, such as teachers and principals, allow them to exploit their positions of power and trust to abuse students. The school could have often prevented the abuse if they had upheld their legal duty to provide security measures such as security cameras, patrolling security officers, and conducting background checks. If an assistant principal is charged with sexually abusing a child, there should be a full investigation. Along with the police investigation of the perpetrator, many third parties should also be investigated for negligence. This may include the school, the diocese, or the department responsible for child protection and safety. If a third party is found to be neglecting their security obligations, they could be held liable."
"Additionally, a school could be deemed negligent if they are found to ignore past complaints of misconduct. In negligence cases, the victims and their families could have grounds to file a lawsuit against the school or diocese. Victims and their families are encouraged to contact an experienced sex abuse attorney for guidance with the legal process."