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Klein, TX - Former Klein ISD Teacher, Matthew Stegeman Sr., Charged with Child Sex Abuse Faces Additional Accusations as More Victims Come Forward

Former Klein ISD Teacher, Matthew Stegeman, Charged with Child Sex Abuse Faces Additional Accusations as More Victims Come Forward
Published: February 19, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on February 19, 2024

Two More Victims Come Forward After Texas Elementary Teacher Arrested for Sexually Abusing a Student

KHOU reported that Matthew Stegeman Sr., a former teacher at Epps Island Elementary, located at 7403 Smiling Woods Ln, Klein, TX 77086, has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing multiple students. Stegeman, 52, was apprehended on Monday, December 18, 2023, and charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact, since then two more students have come forward.

The initial case came to light when a 7-year-old student at the Klein Independent School District (Klein ISD), bravely disclosed to her mother that Stegeman had touched her inappropriately and attempted to engage in further misconduct in September of last year. The child reported that when she resisted and told him "no," Stegeman callously responded, "You may not like it now, but you will later." Disturbingly, the girl stated that Stegeman continued to touch her inappropriately on multiple occasions, often using endearing terms like "cute" and "pretty" to manipulate her.

According to court documents, Stegeman attempted to downplay his actions during a meeting with the school's human resources director, claiming that the victim "did not act like anything was wrong" and asserting that he had engaged in innocuous physical contact with other students, such as pinching their cheeks and tickling them. However, it was revealed that Stegeman had previously been counseled by the school's principal for crossing boundaries when he allegedly kissed another female student on the cheek.

Stegeman appeared before a probable cause court judge on Wednesday, where he expressed surprise and concern about the $50,000 bond imposed on him. Despite his reaction, he was able to secure his release by posting bond. As part of the conditions, Stegeman is forbidden from contacting the alleged victim and must remain at least 500 feet away from places where children congregate, including schools, parks, and playgrounds.

The Klein ISD promptly responded to the allegations, stating that they took immediate action upon learning of the initial complaint against Stegeman. The District placed him on administrative leave, initiated an investigation, informed the parents of his students, and ultimately terminated his employment. However, in a distressing turn of events, two more students have now come forward, accusing Stegeman of sexual misconduct. Prosecutors confirm that these new victims, aged 7 and 8, allege they were also subjected to inappropriate touching by the former teacher while at school.

"We have had at least two other victims come out," revealed Jill Wells from the Harris County District Attorney's Office. "They've been forensically interviewed at the children's assessment center, which is the first step in investigating." Wells emphasized the difficulty of such incidents occurring in a trusted educational environment, where parents rely on teachers to safeguard their children's well-being.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office is currently collaborating with Klein ISD police to determine if additional charges can be brought against Stegeman. Meanwhile, Wells commended the courage of the victims' parents in engaging their children in difficult conversations about personal boundaries and inappropriate behavior. She stressed the importance of children understanding the difference between a good touch and a bad touch and knowing when to speak out.

Stegeman's next court appearance is scheduled for Anjalih 25, where he will face the initial charge of indecency with a child by sexual contact. As the investigation continues, authorities will strive to ensure justice for the victims and maintain the safety and security of the school community.

The Klein ISD remains committed to the well-being of its students and has pledged to take all claims seriously, promptly and appropriately addressing any allegations to protect students from harm.

Anjali Nigam
Hello, I’m attorney Anjali Nigam. If you or a loved one is a survivor of a similar accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options. Call for a free consultation, it would be my honor to help you.
(888) 997-3792

Seeking Justice: Civil Cases for School Sex Abuse Victims and Their Families

In the wake of a distressing sexual abuse case involving a former Klein ISD teacher, the pressing question arises: What legal recourse do victims and their families have to pursue justice? To explore this topic further, we sat down with TX sexual abuse attorney Anjali Nigam, Esq., who provides insights into the options available for victims and their families in pursuing civil cases against liable parties, particularly in incidents when a child is sexually abused by an elementary teacher.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us, Anjali.

Anjali Nigam (AN): Thank you, Darla. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this critical topic.

DM: With this case highlighting the devastating impact of sexual abuse on young students, many families may wonder what legal options are available to them. Can you explain what victims and their families can do in terms of pursuing a civil case against the parties responsible when an elementary teacher is arrested for child sexual abuse?

AN: Absolutely, Darla. In cases of sexual abuse by an elementary teacher or any individual in a position of trust, victims and their families may have grounds to seek justice through a civil lawsuit. It's essential to consult with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who can guide them through the legal process.

DM: What are some of the key steps that families should take if they believe their child has been sexually abused by a teacher?

AN: First and foremost, the safety and well-being of the child should be the top priority. If there are immediate concerns, it's crucial to contact the appropriate authorities, such as the school administration or law enforcement, to ensure the child's protection. Families should also seek medical attention for their child and document any physical or emotional injuries.

DM: Once the immediate concerns are addressed, what should families consider when pursuing a civil case?

AN: Families should consult with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who specializes in these types of cases. The attorney will guide them through the legal process, which typically involves gathering evidence, conducting thorough investigations, and building a strong case against the responsible parties. It's essential to act promptly, as there are legal time limits for filing a civil lawsuit known as statutes of limitations.

DM: Can you explain who might be held liable in a civil case involving sexual abuse by an elementary teacher?

AN: In these cases, liability can extend to various parties, depending on the specific circumstances. The school district may be held accountable for their failure to prevent or adequately respond to the abuse. Additionally, there may be other individuals or entities involved, such as school administrators, who could be held responsible for negligence or allowing a dangerous situation to persist.

DM: How can pursuing a civil case help victims and their families?

AN: A civil lawsuit can provide victims and their families with a sense of justice and accountability for the harm caused. It can also result in financial compensation that can assist with therapy, medical expenses, and other costs associated with recovery. By taking legal action, families can contribute to raising awareness about the issue of sexual abuse in schools and potentially prevent future incidents.

DM: Thank you, Anjali, for providing valuable insights into this important matter. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated.

AN: Thank you, Darla. It was my pleasure to be here today and shed light on this crucial topic.



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Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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