According to Branson Tri-Lakes News, a teacher has been arrested amid charges of inappropriately photographing a student while employed at Cedar Ridge Intermediate School located at 308 Cedar Ridge Dr, Branson, MO 65616.
On September 23, 2021, police found three images on the phone of 40-year-old Thomas Louis Schembri III. Detectives took Schembri's phone following a report from a victim alleging that he took inappropriate photos of her during a tutoring session. The 9-year-old victim said Schembri made her feel uncomfortable as he took pictures under her dress with his phone.
Schembri is facing a class A felony charge of sexual exploitation of a child.
Attorney contributor Ryan Frazier, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer, has represented numerous victims sexually exploited by a teacher in civil lawsuits. Ryan has provided his insight regarding the legal rights of these victims and their families.
“Too often, sexual predators gain employment in schools where they use their positions of power and trust to abuse students. Schools and administrations are legally obligated to protect their students from harm, including sexual predators. The safety of their students should be the first priority and must include adequate safety measures. These measures can include easy reporting systems, security monitoring cameras, and conducting background checks on all teachers and staff.”
“If sufficient security is not provided and a crime, such as sexual abuse or exploitation take place, a victim could have ground to file a lawsuit against the school. Victims and their families should employ the counsel of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer to help determine if their case involves negligence. If previous misconduct reports had been filed against a teacher, but the school failed to investigate or report the incident, the school could be liable for its negligence. In cases such as this, the victim could have grounds for a civil lawsuit and may receive compensation for damages.”