Burke County High School Teacher Arrested for Sexual Battery
A man who teaches at Burke County High School and coaches basketball at the middle school has been arrested for sexual battery based on allegations involving a middle school student.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from a parent that Travis Thomas had inappropriately touched a student at Burke County Middle School after school hours. The Sheriff’s Office notified the school last Thursday and Thomas was immediately placed on administrative leave.
On Monday, January 14, Thomas was arrested and charged with felony sexual battery. On Wednesday, an additional charge of sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority was added in this case. Thomas was arrested a second time for this additional charge after previously being released on bail.
This investigation is still ongoing.
Legal Recourse for Victims of Sexual Abuse by School Employees
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked him to add some information regarding the legal options available to survivors of sexual abuse by teachers, coaches, and other school employees:
Sexual predators are often in positions of trust and in fields that involve working with children. We regularly see this in cases of sexual abuse involving teachers, coaches, and other school employees. This is why our schools must be diligent in making sure that their students are safe from the risk of sexual violence. When a school employee sexually abuses students, it’s important both to prosecute the perpetrator and to hold the school accountable if their negligence played a role in the abuse.
Some common examples of school negligence in cases of sexual abuse include:
- Hiring an employee without first running a background check
- Failing to report suspected abuse or allegations of abuse to law enforcement
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, your family can find justice for the pain you’ve suffered. Get in touch with one of our experienced sex abuse survivors attorneys to learn more about your family’s legal options.