A former special education teacher at Chicago Public Schools has been charged with sexually assaulting an 8th-grade boy who was her student according to the Chicago Tribune.
33-year-old Sara Damyan turned herself in on Monday morning after learning she was charged with criminal sexual assault of a victim between 13 and 17. According to prosecutors the boy was not in Damyan’s class but attended the school where she worked.
Prosecutors revealed that in their investigation they uncovered that Damyan allegedly offered to tutor the boy after school. There were other students she offered to tutor as well and she reportedly would offer her cell phone number to them. She also allegedly provided marijuana to the boy. The Chicago Board of Education launched an investigation after someone reported that abuse may be occurring in March of 2019, which led the school to remove Damyan from her position.
The investigation uncovered roughly 12,000 communications between Damyan and the boy. Most of these were text messages except for about 100 phone calls. The investigation also uncovered evidence that Damyan invited the boy to her home on the 2400 block of North Kedzie Avenue where she sexually assaulted him while watching a movie.
On Friday a judge ordered Damyan to be held on a $150,000 bond.
Attorney Commentator Brian Kent has represented numerous victims in teacher sex abuse cases. He has helped victims get the compensation that they deserve in civil lawsuits. He offered us the following commentary on the legal options for victims to recover damages in a civil lawsuit:
“Because of the proximity to children, and the high level of trust that the position is given, many sexual predators will apply for teaching positions at schools. Because of this increased risk, schools must implement safety measures to protect students against these predators.”
I asked Brian to elaborate on what some of these safety measures could be:
“Measures to protect against sexual predators can take many different forms. Some may be aimed at preventing sexual predators from gaining employment in the first place such as extensive background checks or psychological testing. Others may attempt to make it easier to report such as having an easy-to-use reporting system, or encouraging students to report suspicious activity.”
“If schools have none of these safety measures or have other issues such as ignoring student claims, the schools may be held liable for negligence in a civil lawsuit. I encourage anyone who thinks they may have a claim to review the laws in their state and what constitutes negligence. If they believe their school acted negligently they may be able to sue for damages.”