Former Assistant Principal Pleads No Content to Sex Charges
A former assistant principal from Millard South High School pleaded no contest to two felony counts of attempted sexual assault of a child on Monday, September 18. This plea was part of a deal with prosecutors and these charges were lowered in exchange for the plea. 46-year-old Matthew Fedde was accused of engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student at the school. His sentencing is set for December 21.
According to investigators, Fedde had several sexual encounters with the student on the grounds of Millar South High School last school year. Fedde was arrested after the girl’s parents found entries about Fedde in the girl’s diary and contacted the police.
During Monday’s hearing, prosecutors told the court of a new allegation against Fedde, which he and his attorney deny. Prosecutor Beth Beninato alleged that Fedde has another sexual relationship with a different 15-year-old girl about 10 years ago. This previous alleged relationship took place in the Kansas City area, where the girl was a student and Fedde was an assistant principal and athletic director. Beninato also alleged that Fedde asked another 15-year-old Millard South student, a friend of the current victim, to have sex with him.
Fedde faces one to 50 years in prison for each of the two charges.
Legal Options For Victims of School Sexual Assault
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is an attorney who specializes in representing the victims of sexual violence. We’ve asked him to discuss the legal options available to victims of sexual assault by school staff members:
Most of us trust that the schools in our community are educational and safe environments. While this is usually true, occasionally teachers, coaches, principals, and other staff members at these schools use their positions of trust and authority to sexually abuse students. In some cases, the student may think that they’re in a relationship with the abuser, even though the student is younger than the age of consent.
Educational professionals who take advantage of their students and sexually abuse them need to be held criminally responsible for their actions. But the criminal justice system does not always adequately address the needs of victims. Many families turn to the civil court system for financial compensation by filing a lawsuit against the school district.
In order to have grounds for a lawsuit, you will need to establish that the school was negligent and that this negligence resulted in a failure to prevent the sexual abuse. Determining negligence is complicated, so we advise discussing your case with an experienced sexual assault victim lawyer.