A man who worked as a choir teacher for Hauppauge High School in Long Island and who also served as an Army National Guard band leader has been charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old student at his home.
53-year-old Mark Kimes was arrested on Tuesday, August 13, and faces a count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
According to Suffolk County Police, an 18-year-old man reported that Kimes had allegedly sexually abused him as a 16-year-old Hauppauge High School student. Seventh Squad detectives investigated the allegations. The former student told investigators that Kimes had provided alcohol to him and two other students on multiple occasions in 2017 and that Kimes sexually abused him after he passed out while drinking at the teacher’s home.
In an official statement, the police said that they had “determined Kimes had inappropriate contact with the teen while serving as his teacher.” The school also released a statement announcing that Kimes had been reassigned to his home and ordered to stay away from school property.
Along with serving as the Hauppauge High School choir director, Kimes is a 34-year Army veteran and serves as a chief warrant officer for the New York Army National Guard and commander of the 42nd Infantry Division Band.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville of Banville Law is an experienced school sexual abuse lawyer and has helped victims of sexual abuse find justice through civil lawsuits. Laurence has offered to add a few thoughts about the legal rights of those who have survived sexual abuse by school employees:
In any field where adults are working with children, it’s extremely important that only trustworthy people are hired as employees and volunteers. School administrators have a responsibility to make sure their students are safe from preventable dangers, including sexual predators. But sadly, sexual abuse of students by school employees is a nationwide problem.
When a student comes forward to report sexual abuse by a school employee, the investigation must cover the accused employee as well as the school itself. It’s important to determine whether the school district’s negligence allowed the abuse to occur – such as failing to respond to previous allegations of sexual misconduct involving the perpetrator.
In cases involving negligence, school sex abuse victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by discussing your case with an experienced sex abuse victim attorney.