According to the New York Times, Regis High School plans to fire the Jesuit priest that also serves as their president after sexual misconduct allegations have surfaced.
Reverend Daniel Lahart is under investigation after allegations of him engaging in sexual misconduct with other school employees. The investigation revealed that Lahart was inappropriate with verbal communication and physical conduct of sexual nature with adults in the Regis High School community that was nonconsensual, reported the New York Times.
Lahart has been placed on leave pending the school's investigation. All dioceses in New York State are also currently under investigation to observe sexual misconduct after recent lawsuits arose.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, has represented numerous victims who have been sexually assaulted. In an interview, we asked Laurence to share insight to help victims sexually assaulted in a school to determine their legal rights.
"Schools have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for students, teachers, and all staff. School administrations have a duty to ensure they provide a safe environment for all people in their community. Unfortunately, across the country, we have seen many stories highlighting predators working in schools. These predators place themselves in power positions and exploit the people in the schools sexually. Schools must do their best to limit the hiring of predators and sexual abuse by staff. "
"Victims of sexual assault in a school should secure the services of an experienced sexual assault attorney to learn about their legal options. Schools should implement security measures to prevent abuse from occurring, such as background checks, easy reporting systems, and guards. If a school does not implement measures to prevent sexual assault from occurring on their grounds, they may be considered liable for negligence. An example of negligence is if previous misconduct was reported but ignored. Victims should know in negligence cases they may have grounds for a lawsuit and receive compensation for damages."