IndyStar has reported that an arrest has been made regarding an inappropriate relationship between a student and a teacher at Greenwood High School, located at 615 W Smith Valley Rd, Greenwood, IN 46143.
On December 13, 2021, 40-year-old Matthew Hockersmith was arrested. Parents of a female student were worried about the relationship between the teacher and their daughter so they reached out to the authorities. At the request of the investigators, the parents allowed their daughter's phone to be searched. They discovered multiple text messages between Hockersmith and the girl, even one where he suggested they use a hidden messaging app that was password-protected. The messages between the two were found to be sexual in nature.
During an interview, the student explained that she had a close relationship with Hockersmith. She was a student in one of Hockersmith's classes and one of his teaching assistants. According to the report, she further alleged that things progressed quicker than she was comfortable with but that she did not know how to end the relationship. She claimed she did not want to have a physical relationship with the teacher but disclosed that sexual intercourse occurred three times.
Hockersmith also admitted to the inappropriate relationship and communication with the student, including sexual photos and messages. He claimed the relationship began in September or October this year. He was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with three counts of child seduction.
Attorney contributor Jeff Gibson is an experienced school sex abuse lawyer in the state of Indiana. Jeff recently shared some information regarding the legal right of school sex abuse survivors to sue negligent schools.
"Schools should take the safety of their students seriously by implementing a high level of safety precautions. Such measures can include conducting rigorous background checks, installing security cameras, and reporting any instances of misconduct. These measures help reduce the risk of injury and violent crimes, including sexual abuse. Too many times lately, we see reports about sexual predators gaining employment inside a school's faculty. They take up roles of power and trust, like teachers and coaches. These predators can easily use this power and trust to seduce and lure their victims."
"If a school has failed to implement safety precautions and abuse takes place, the victim and their family may have grounds to pursue not only a criminal lawsuit but a civil lawsuit as well. School safety negligence can lead to the school being held liable in a case of sexual abuse on the school campus or with a member of the school's payroll."
"Victims and their families of school sexual abuse should contact an experienced school sex abuse lawyer to explore their legal options. In each state, the laws that govern the right to file are different, and they may include a statute of limitations. Knowing your legal rights is essential in seeking justice in cases of sexual abuse."