According to WJAC, a teacher at Hope for Hyndman Charter School has been accused of sexually assaulting a student. Robert Sines, 46-years-old, of Buffalo Mills, has been accused of sexually assaulting a 6th-grade student.
Troopers received a report on March 8th that Sines was having an inappropriate relationship with his student, reported WJAC. The investigators reported finding sexually natured emails that Sines sent to the victim. Additionally, state police reported Sines allegedly inappropriately touched the victim for sexual gratification.
WJAC reported Sines is charged with corruption of minors, indecent assault of a person less than 13-years-old, unlawful contact with a minor, and institutional sexual assault. Sines is being held on $150,000 bail at the Bedford County jail.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced sexual assault lawyer that works with victims sexually abused by a teacher. In an interview, we asked Brian to provide insight into the victim's legal rights.
"Schools and teachers have a legal obligation to protect the students enrolled and provide a safe learning environment. Teachers and other staff are in positions of power and trusted by their students. Although most teachers are trustworthy, some staff use their positions of power to exploit their students sexually. To ensure safety, schools should implement preventative measures. For example, easy reporting systems for children and cameras."
"When a victim is sexually assaulted by a teacher, the victim should explore their legal options. Victims and their families should secure an experienced sexual assault lawyer's services to explore all their legal options. When a student is sexually assaulted, the teacher and the school may be considered liable. A school may be considered a negligent third party in the assault. An example of negligence is if a teacher had been reported previously but allowed to continue working. In cases of negligence, the victim and their family may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the school and receive compensation for damages."