According to WSOC-TV 9, sexual assault charges have been made against a school employee at Hopewell High School located at 11530 Beatties Ford Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078.
On Monday, February 21, 2022, 47-year-old Drayton Gilyard was arrested and charged with the sexual abuse of a minor. Gilyard has been accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old child since 2019. The abuse was said to have taken place at his home. Gilyard was hired at the high school in July of 2019, but it is uncertain at this time if the child was a student.
Gilyard was the Hopewell High School ROTC program instructor, but he resigned on February 18, 2022. He was booked into the Mecklenburg County jail and has been charged with indecent liberties and sexual battery.
Attorney contributor Kristen Beightol is an experienced school sexual abuse attorney representing victims and their families in civil lawsuits. Kristen has kindly shared some information on the legal rights of sex abuse victims and their families, highlighting when victims can sue for being sexually abused by an ROTC instructor.
"Student safety should be a top priority in all schools and educational institutions. Parents have faith that their children will be protected and kept safe when they are in the hands of school administrators. By law, a school is committed to keeping its students and staff safe from reasonable dangers. This includes safeguards against sexual exploitation. Sadly, countless incidents of teachers and other school employees being accused of sexual assault have surfaced. Sexual abuse victims and their families have legal rights, including the ability to sue the educational institution if it is found to be liable."
"While submitting a police report can often result in criminal charges being brought against the abuser, it is not the victim's sole option. They may also have legal grounds to sue the school or school district. A school might be held accountable if it failed to fulfill its legal obligation to ensure the safety of its students. Security cameras, background checks on all employees, and processes for reporting misconduct could all be part of a school's safety plan. If the school ignored or failed to report previous accusations of sexual misconduct, it could be deemed negligent. Victims of sexual abuse by a teacher or school staff should consult with an experienced school sexual abuse attorney to learn more about their legal options."