According to KATV, a woman is accused of raping a student while employed as a special education teacher with the Hamilton Fulton Montgomery BOCES District located at 2755 NY-67, Johnstown, NY 12095.
The victim notified the Hamilton Fulton Montgomery BOCES District that 39-year-old Kristin M. Bellinger had sexual intercourse with him in 2019. The boy was only 13 years old at the time and was receiving in-home tutoring from the teacher. The tutoring was said to have been outside her position as a special education teacher with the district.
The district contacted the police and placed Bellinger on leave. She is no longer an employee of the district. Police arrested the former teacher, and she has been released on bail.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville is an experienced school sexual assault lawyer in New York. Laurence represents victims of sexual abuse in lawsuits. During a recent interview, he shared his insight regarding when a victim can sue if sexually assaulted by a tutor.
"Across the country, we have seen reports of teachers, coaches, and even tutors abusing their positions of power and trust to sexually abuse students. Sexual predators seek these positions for easy access to vulnerable victims. However, schools and school districts must implement proper precautions and safety measures to ensure students' safety and prevent sexual assault. Misconduct reporting systems and security cameras in classrooms are just some of the examples of such safety measures. Each school staff member should also undergo background checks to reduce the risk of predators being hired."
"If a school district fails to provide ample security for their students, they could be deemed liable in a school sexual assault lawsuit. Too often, school sexual abuse occurs as a result of negligence in the school's security. For instance, if previous reports of misconduct were ignored and the perpetrator was allowed to continue working with the students. Victims sexually abused by a tutor or teacher should understand their legal rights, which may include filing a civil lawsuit to recover compensation for damages."