Warrensville Heights Band Director Appears In Court
The Warrensville Heights High School band director who has been accused of sexual battery appeared in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court on August 17. 32-year-old Duane Keeton has been charged with sexual battery and attempted sexual battery following allegations that he paid multiple students for sexual favors. His lawyer tried to convince the judge to lower the bond, but it was set at $500,000.
Keeton is accused of paying a 17-year-old student and band member to perform sex acts in 2016. On August 9, Keeton again attempted to engage in a sexual encounter with a student. According to the most recent allegations, the student asked Keeton if he knew of any employment opportunities because he needed money. Keeton allegedly suggested the student could earn money by performing sexual favors.
A human resources director for Warrensville Heights City Schools contacted police about Keeton on May 4 after a student’s father allegedly complained about Keeton visiting their home. Police followed up on this complaint, but the student and his parents were uncooperative.
Keeton has been teaching social studies at the school since 2012. He was placed on paid leave last week.
Legal Recourse For Victims of Sexual Abuse At Public Schools
We’ve asked attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com to add some thoughts on how civil lawsuits can help survivors of sexual abuse at schools:
When a school employee sexually abuses a student, we must ask if anything could have been done to prevent the abuse, along with punishing the perpetrator. The criminal justice system handles the arrest and prosecution of sexual predators, but the civil court system directly helps victims find justice. If a school employee was enabled to sexually abuse a student because of negligence on the part of the school, the victim’s family could have grounds for a lawsuit.
A few common forms of negligence which could result in public school liability in sexual abuse cases:
- Failure to run a background check before hiring an employee with a history of sex offenses
- Poor handling of reported assaults, such as failing to notify police in a timely manner
- Inadequate personnel training for recognizing warning signs of abuse
If your family is searching for justice after your child became the victim of sexual abuse, we suggest speaking with an experienced sexual abuse lawyer about your legal options.
Local Coverage From Fox 8 Cleveland
Location of Warrensville Heights High School