WT Chipman Middle School teacher Richard Ford was arrested on Friday, July 12 on multiple sexual abuse charges. Ford is accused of sexually abusing at least 3 students at the middle school in Harrington.
Police began investigating Ford in January 2019 when a parent contacted officers with to report that Ford has allegedly touched her daughter inappropriately during a fitness class at the school.
The Child Advocacy Center and the Department of Justice worked alongside the Harrington Police Department in this investigation. Eventually, investigators determined that there were at least two other victims, ages 11 and 12.
Ford has been charged with two counts of unlawful sexual contact where victim is under 13, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a child by person of trust, and one count of offensive touching.
He was released after being issued a $10,100 unsecured bond and no contact orders with the victims.
This investigation is ongoing. Police have encouraged anyone with information to contact them at 302-398-4493 extension 46.
Attorney Phil Edwards represents victims of sexual abuse in civil cases. Here a few thoughts from Phil regarding the legal options available to survivors of sexual abuse by teachers and other school staff members:
Schools should be safe spaces where children can learn without fear of being subjected to any type of abuse or harassment. While most teachers are honorable professionals, there are also many sexual predators who seek out positions in education and other fields which involve working with children. School administrators have a legal duty to protect their students from these predators.
Our team of sex abuse victims attorneys has seen many cases involving teachers and other school staff members sexually abusing students. In some cases, the school is partially to blame for failing to prevent or stop the abuse due to negligence - such as failing to respond to previous reports of sexual misconduct or harassment involving the perpetrator.
In cases of negligence, school sex abuse victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school district.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a teacher or another school employee, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking with one of our experienced sex abuse survivors lawyers in a free consultation.