Employee of Chamberlain International School Turns Self in to Face Rape Charges
A staff member of the Chamberlain International School who is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a student with cognitive disabilities has turned himself in to police. 28-year-old Phillip Houtman turned himself in at the Wareham District Court on Friday, October 11 after police publicly announced that they were looking for him.
According to Middleboro Police, Houtman is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old student on school grounds, in the dorm laundry room. There may be partial surveillance footage of the alleged attack.
The alleged victim is on the autism spectrum. He reported the alleged assault on the night of September 29 and Houtman has been banned from the school since that night.
Houtman has been charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability, rape, assault to rape, and open and gross lewdness. During his initial court appearance, prosecutors also accused Houtman of sending and receiving inappropriate text messages with the victim.
Houtman has another scheduled court appearance on Wednesday, October 16.
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.
Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
Legal Options for School Sex Abuse Victims & Their Families
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. Brian has a few thoughts to share concerning the legal rights of those who have been sexually abused by school staff members:
Schools must make the safety of their students a top priority. As part of their safety plans, schools need to have preventative measures in place for protecting students from sexual predators. Sadly, these predators often seek out employment in education and other fields that involve working with children.
When a student comes forward to report sexual abuse by a staff member, it’s important that the school considers how this abuse may have been preventable. In some cases of school sex abuse, the abuse may have been prevented if not for negligence by the school – such as having inadequate safeguards in place for preventing abuse or failing to run background checks before hiring new employees.
In cases of abuse involving negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school.
If you or your child is a survivor of school sex abuse, you can learn more about your legal rights by speaking with an experienced sex abuse victims lawyer.
Location of Chamberlain International School in Middleborough, MA
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