According to the New York Post, 45-year-old Christine Knudsen has been accused of sexually abusing a student while employed as an art teacher at Fair Lawn High School located at 14-00 Berdan Ave, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.
On Thursday, September 16, 2021, police arrested Knudsen following an investigation into allegations she had a sexual relationship with a student at the high school. The abuse allegedly took place in September of 2018.
The former art teacher is accused of providing the student with controlled substances. Knudsen is charged with sexual assault in addition to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Our attorney contributor Brian Kent is a sexual assault attorney in the state of New Jersey. Kent has years of experience representing victims of sexual assault in civil lawsuits. He has shared some of his insight regarding the legal options of victims sexually abused by a teacher.
"School administrations have a legal responsibility to provide the students in their care with a safe environment. Unfortunately, predators are given employment in schools which allows them to gain positions of trust and power. School administrations should implement safety measures that prevent predators from gaining access to the campus while keeping their students safe. Adequate safety measures can include security cameras, patrolling security guards, in addition to conducting background checks prior to hiring."
"In the event that sexual assault does happen, the victim has a legal right to ask about the level of prevention implemented by the school administration during the abuse. If the school has failed to maintain a sufficient level of safety, it can be deemed responsible. Too often, sexual assault at the hands of a teacher occurs due to third-party negligence, such as the school officials. This negligence might include if a victim reported abuse, but the school officials failed to properly investigate or report the crime. Victims and their families are advised to seek the guidance of an experienced sexual abuse attorney in order to explore their legal options. In many cases of neglect, they may have reason to pursue a civil lawsuit."