Former Jordan High School teacher, Mark Santo, is charged with five felonies relating to sexual abuse or assault of three former students.
Santo resigned from working at Jordan High and began teaching at Lindbergh Middle School before being arrested on suspicion of sexual conduct with students. The initial report highlighted lewd conduct with a 13-year-old girl, as stated in www.lbpost.com. Before his resignation, the district moved to fire Santo after admitting to having sexual intercourse with a former student who was 18 years old, which he claims was consensual.
Since the initial arrest, Santo faces new charges, including forced oral sex of an 18-year-old former student. Santo is charged with five felonies for sexually assaulting or abusing three students from his schools, two being underage at the time. Santo denies sexually abusing the said underaged students and maintains that the sexual encounter with his former 18-year-old student was consensual.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson, a sex abuse victim lawyer, represents victims and their families sexually abused in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked Bobby to share his thoughts regarding the legal rights of victims sexually abused by teachers.
In education, schools and administrators have a legal duty to protect their students and provide a safe environment. Sadly, sexual predators are sometimes found working in schools as teachers and coaches and other workplaces with children. Schools and administrations must protect their students from these sexual predators.
When a teacher is charged with sexual abuse, we should ask if the school did everything possible to prevent said abuse. Some of these sexual abuse cases only happen because of the school’s negligence. For example, a school district could be considered negligent if prior complaints of sexual misconduct were filed against the teacher, and they were still permitted to work. In negligence cases, the student victim of sexual abuse and their families should know they may have grounds for a lawsuit.