5th-Grade Teacher Accused of Sexually Assaulting Several Students
On Tuesday, October 2, a 5th-grade teacher at Washington Woods Middle School was arrested based on allegations that he has sexually abused several students at the school. 45-year-old Patrick Daley has been charged with five counts of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (touching) and one count of Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree.
The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Daley on May 31, 2018, after several students came forward with allegations of inappropriate touching by Daley.
Daley was put on a leave of absence when the allegations were first raised at the end of the 2017-18 school year. Last week, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The school district is looking into tenure charges in order to terminate Daley’s employment as a teacher and coach in the district. On October 4, Holt Public Schools released a letter to parents and guardians letting them know that help is available for students who are traumatized by this information.
Daley is scheduled to appear in court again next Thursday, October 11. He is currently free on a personal recognizance bond.
Legal Recourse For Parents of Child Sexual Abuse Victims
Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is an attorney who specializes in helping survivors of sexual violence find justice, answers, and support through civil lawsuits. We have asked him to add some insight into the legal options available to parents whose children have come forward about sexual abuse:
Our schools are supposed to be educational institutions where our kids can learn and grow into ambitious and knowledgeable adults. But unfortunately, sometimes sexual predators are attracted to teaching and coaching jobs because of the close proximity to children. When a school employee sexually abuses a student, it’s normal for the family to seek answers and justice for the trauma their child has suffered.
Arresting the perpetrators of these crimes is always the first step, along with making sure the victims and other students get the support they need. But we should also determine if the school district was negligent in a way that left their students vulnerable to a sexual predator. For example, a school could be considered negligent for ignoring previous reports of sexual abuse or for hiring a teacher with a history of sexual misconduct because they failed to run a background check.
If your child has been sexually abused by a school employee, we understand the difficulties your family faces. However, the legal system can help families find a sense of justice. To learn more about your family’s legal options, consider speaking to an experienced sexual abuse victims attorney.