A former teacher and volleyball coach at Morris Catholic High School in Denville, NJ has been accused of sexually abusing two former students. 42-year-old Carlos Franco-Leon faces several criminal charges, including aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of children.
Franco-Leon resigned from Morris Catholic High School in 2018. He told police that he did so because he developed an “emotional connection” to one of the victims. The relationship with that girl started in 2015, after the volleyball season had ended.
According to the police, Franco-Leon and that student exchanged graphic text messages and Snapchats. He also allegedly sent her nude photos and gave her a card that said “I love you.”
Franco-Leon began sexually abusing the second student in September of 2015 and continued until January of 2017, according to the authorities. Police believe at least one of their sexual encounters happened in Franco-Leon’s classroom.
Police said that both girls were between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of the alleged abuse, but their exact ages were redacted from court records.
Franco-Leon was teaching and coaching at Roselle Catholic High School in Union County at the time of his arrest, but he has been suspended from those positions pending the outcome of this investigation.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced sex abuse victims lawyer who helps hold sexual predators and negligent third parties accountable for sexual abuse. We’ve asked Brian to share some of his knowledge on the legal rights of school sex abuse victims and their families:
We trust teachers, coaches, and other school staff members to be positive influences in the lives of their students. While most school employees take this responsibility seriously and are trustworthy people, there are sadly also many cases of school sports coaches and teachers sexually abusing their students. The victims and their families deserve justice for the trauma they’ve suffered due to this abuse.
When a school athletics coach is charged with sexually abusing students, it’s important to look at both the accused coach and the school itself. School officials have a legal responsibility to keep their students safe from sexual predators. When they fail to do so and a student is sexually abused by a coach as a result, that student and their family may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school district.
Were you sexually abused at school? You may be able to find justice through the legal system. You can learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation with one of our dedicated school sex abuse victim lawyers.