Lawyer Commentary: In the second section of this story, school sexual abuse attorney Michael Haggard discusses the legal rights of teacher sex abuse victims and their families.
A 35-year-old teacher at Santa Fe High School in Gainesville has been charged with six counts of sexual battery in a case involving at least one student.
Christopher Salamone was arrested on June 9 and taken into custody. He is a social studies teacher at Santa Fe High School.
According to deputies, someone filed a report regarding alleged sexual contact between a teacher and student at the end of May.
The victim, who is under 18, is receiving support from victim services.
Salamone is currently at the Levy County jail with a bond set at $1.2 million.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard is a prosecutor who now serves victims as a sex abuse victim lawyer. Michael has offered to share some of his thoughts on the legal rights of student sex abuse victims and their families:
Teachers are pivotal members of their communities, and most are honorable and trustworthy people. However, there have also been cases of sexual abuse of students by teachers and other school employees. School officials have a moral and legal duty to do all that they can to make sure their students don't become victims.
When a teacher is charged with sex crimes involving student victims, a full investigation must take place. The school should also be investigated to determine if negligence enabled the abuse - such as failing to run background checks or ignoring past complaints of inappropriate behavior. In cases of negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If you or your child is a victim of school sex abuse, you can learn more about your legal options by discussing your case with one of our experienced sex abuse victim lawyers in a free consultation.