According to Fox News, Pennsylvania prosecutors revealed the alleged sexual relationship between a high school track and field coach and a 17-year-old student-athlete at Northampton Areas High School located at 1619 Laubach Ave, Northampton, PA 18067.
Hannah Marth, 26, was a coach at the high school when she allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a 17 year old male student. The abuse is said to have occurred from May 2021 to October 2022. Northhampton District Attorney Terence Houck said in a statement that the relationship is a “blatant disregard for the well-being of those she or he coached, and above all – the law.”
Marth has been charged with felony charges of institutional sexual assault and sexual assault by a sports official. Northampton Areas High School Superintendent David Piperato has issued a statement about Marth’s arrest and stated that the school district “intends to cooperate fully with the authorities in this matter and will take all necessary action to ensure the safety of our students.” Marth is no longer listed on the district’s website among the faculty.
This incident has had a severe impact on the Northampton Areas High School community and has resulted in a call to ensure the safety of all students. It is unclear at this time what disciplinary action Marth may face.
Attorney commentator Brian Kent is an attorney and sex victim advocate who has been supporting victims of school sex abuse in Pennsylvania for years. As a school sex crimes lawyer, he assists victims and their families in filing lawsuits for victims sexually abused by high school teachers and coaches, ensuring the schools are held accountable for negligence.
"Schools have a legal and moral obligation to protect their students from sexual abuse. This includes taking measures to prevent sexual abuse between athletic coaches and students. High schools must develop and enforce policies that ensure the safety of students under their care, including policies related to the prevention of sexual abuse. These policies should be widely disseminated and implemented, and school staff should receive training on how to recognize, report, and prevent sexual abuse. If a school fails to do background checks on their staff or neglects to follow up on reports of sexual misconduct, they can be held liable."
"Victims of sexual abuse have a number of legal rights that they and their families should be aware of. These include the right to seek a restraining order, the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator, and the right to seek financial compensation from the school if they failed to prevent the abuse. It is the school's responsibility to ensure that students are safe and protected from sexual abuse. Schools must take the necessary steps to prevent, identify, and respond to abuse and provide victims and their families with the legal rights they are entitled to. Victims sexually abused by a high school coach can learn more about their rights by speaking with an experienced school sex crimes lawyer."