Fox 10 Pheonix reported that a teacher is facing allegations of sexual assault while employed at Irving Elementary School at 3220 E Pueblo Ave, Mesa, AZ 85204.
On Wednesday, August 10, 2022, Michael Patrick Driscoll was arrested at the campus on charges of sexual assault. The Mesa Public School District teacher has been accused of providing a 19-year-old girl with whiskey following a funeral. The victim alleged that Driscoll insisted that she sleep on the couch but later woke up to him performing a sex act on her. She then told Driscoll's son and later other family members before reporting the incident to the Flagstaff and Mesa police.
Despite the warrant for Driscoll's arrest being issued and charges being filed last month, he was still allowed to teach at the elementary school for two days this school year. Fox reached out to many of the parents with students at the school only to learn they had not been informed of the arrest or charges. Driscoll has been a teacher with the district for ten years.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazan defends sexual assault victims and their families in school sex abuse lawsuits. Kevin recently discussed when a school could be held liable if an elementary school teacher sexually assaulted a victim.
"Sadly, we often hear of sexual predators taking positions of power and trust, such as elementary school teachers, to exploit vulnerable victims. Parents and students look to teachers with respect and trust. To safeguard their students, schools and school districts must ensure that all of their employees have undergone rigorous background checks. The school district and administration are legally and morally responsible for taking all reasonable steps to prevent sexual abuse from occurring on campus. Measures such as video surveillance cameras and patrolling security agents on the school campus can help to minimize these risks. However, it is important that when a teacher is arrested for assault off campus, steps are taken to prevent abuse from occurring on campus. Proper reporting procedures can help prevent further abuse in addition to placing the accused on administrative leave."
"Furthermore, if a teacher is arrested or accused of sexual abuse, it's critical to make sure the school's safety procedures are sufficient. If prior claims of misconduct were made and unreported, the school district might be held liable for permitting abuse to continue. To properly explore their legal options, victims of sexual assault by a teacher should speak with an experienced sexual assault lawyer."