According to KSDK Channel 5, three students came forward, charging the guidance counselor of sexually assaulting them while he was employed at Hancock High School located at 229 W Ripa Ave, St. Louis, MO 63125.
The St. Louis County Police Department arrested 37-year-old James Jenkins after multiple students alleged he had or attempted sexual relations with them. One victim alleged they engaged in sexual conduct at his home in February of 2021 while another student was present. A second victim claimed that Jenkins sent her pornographic images and requested some of her. The third victim alleged that he touched her inappropriately on the leg and thigh while in his office at the high school. Two of the victims recorded the suspect telling his wife about the sexual relations with the students.
Jenkins has been arrested and is facing the following charges:
Attorney contributor Ryan Frazier has represented many victims of sexual assault at the hands of school employees in civil lawsuits. In a recent interview, Ryan provided his insight regarding the legal rights of victims sexually abused by a guidance counselor.
“School administration is responsible for providing a safe environment for their students to learn. Too often lately, we see predators gain employment in positions of power in order to sexually exploit students in schools across the United States. Schools have a legal obligation to do their best to prevent sexual predators from being employed in order to protect the students in their care. Victims of sexual assault and their families are advised to gain the guidance of an experienced sexual assault lawyer to explore their legal options best.”
“School administration should implement adequate safety measures to maintain they are doing all they can to prevent sexual assault from happening on their property. Some examples of safety measures can include stringent background checks, cameras throughout the campus, and utilized reporting systems. However, if the administration fails to implement safety measures, they can be held liable for negligence if abuse occurs. If a teacher has a history of misconduct with a student, yet the school fails to investigate and report the incident, they can be held on negligence. Victims along with their families should understand they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit in cases of negligence.”