According to 12 News, Daniel Erickson, a 55-year-old resident of Greene, New York, has been arrested and charged with luring a child in the third degree, a felony, as well as the misdemeanor of attempted rape. The arrest came after an intensive investigation by the Broome County Sheriff's Office revealed Erickson's suspicious behavior involving a 16-year-old student from Johnson City High School located at 601 Columbia Dr, Johnson City, NY 13790.
Erickson, who served as the principal at Johnson City High School, had been communicating with the underage student via Snapchat, initially posing as a younger individual, according to authorities. The deceptive online interactions escalated, leading to an alarming discovery. On July 7, 2023 Erickson was apprehended by law enforcement after he arrived at a prearranged meeting location, bearing gifts of a Grimace Shake from McDonald's, chicken nuggets, and a box of condoms, with the intent of engaging in sexual intercourse with the minor. The sheriff's office disclosed that Erickson had made multiple attempts to meet up with the student prior to his arrest.
The court appearance on Wednesday shed light on the gravity of the charges against Erickson. Bail was set at $5,000 cash, $10,000 property, or a partially secured bond of $25,000. The substantial bail reflects the severity of the allegations and aims to ensure that the accused remains in custody pending further legal proceedings.
The Broome County Sheriff's Office is working diligently to investigate any additional potential victims who may have come into contact with Daniel Erickson. Anyone with information related to this case or any other potential victims is urged to contact the authorities immediately.
Today we sat down with Laurence Banville, Esq., a distinguished sexual abuse attorney based in New York. We discussed the options available to victims sexually abuse by a school employee, such as a middle school principal.
Darla Medina (DM): Sexual abuse within educational institutions, including middle schools, is a deeply concerning problem. In such cases, survivors may consider pursuing civil cases against those who enable or fail to prevent the abuse. Can you share some insight into what survivors can do in these situations?
Laurence Banville (LB): Certainly, Darla. Survivors of sexual abuse within educational institutions have the option to file civil lawsuits seeking justice and compensation for the harm they have endured. In cases where middle schools or other educational entities failed in their duty to protect students from abuse, legal action can hold them accountable.
DM: That's important information, Mr. Banville. Could you elaborate on the types of legal claims survivors may bring against these institutions?
LB: Certainly, Darla. Survivors may pursue various legal claims, including negligence, negligent supervision, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. These claims aim to establish that the educational institution failed to provide a safe environment, didn't adequately supervise staff, or knowingly allowed the abuse to occur.
DM: It's disheartening to think that such negligence can occur within the very institutions entrusted with the well-being of our children. In pursuing these civil cases, what evidence or documentation is typically crucial?
LB: Gathering evidence is crucial in these cases. Survivors should try to document any incidents, preserve any relevant messages, emails, or photos, and identify any witnesses or individuals who may have knowledge of the abuse or the institution's failure to prevent it. Consulting with an experienced attorney early on is essential to ensure all relevant evidence is properly gathered and preserved.
DM: Thank you for emphasizing the importance of preserving evidence, Mr. Banville. Lastly, what message would you like to convey to survivors who may be hesitant or unsure about pursuing a civil case against educational institutions?
LB: I want survivors to know that they are not alone and that their voices matter. Pursuing a civil case can bring both personal healing and hold those responsible accountable. Experienced attorneys in this field can provide the guidance and support needed throughout the legal process. I urge survivors to reach out for help and take action towards seeking justice.