Watkins High Student Accused of Sexual Assault Had History of Assault
A 17-year-old male student at Watkins Memorial High School was arrested on Tuesday, February 5, and charged with felony gross sexual imposition. The student is accused of sexually assaulting a female classmate in a classroom at the school.
Deputies responded to a call concerning a possible campus sexual assault at Watkins on Tuesday morning. According to the girl’s family, she was brought to Licking Memorial Hospital, where she underwent an examination and received counseling. Licky County Children’s Services were also called to attend to the girl.
The male student accused of the assault has a juvenile record, which includes a conviction for sexual imposition in November 2017. In that case, the student was sentenced to house arrest with electronic surveillance and required to register as a tier one sex offender.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in court this Wednesday, February 13.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of School Sexual Assault
Attorney Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former sex crimes prosecutor who currently practices as a civil attorney, helping survivors of sexual violence find the justice and support they deserve. We’ve asked Brian to contribute some thoughts on the legal options available to school sexual assault survivors and their families:
Our schools must prioritize the safety of their students just as much as the quality of their education. But unfortunately, not all of our schools are safe environments. Sometimes, students become victims of sexual assault and other crimes on campus. When this happens, it’s important to both prosecute the perpetrator and to determine if the school’s negligence allowed the assault to happen.
For example, a school district might be considered negligent for sexual assault if staff failed to properly supervise a student with a history of sexual misconduct or violence and that student ends up sexually assaulting a classmate. Another example would be a school failing to run a background check and hiring an employee with a history of sexual misconduct.
In cases that involve negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the district. If you believe your child has survived a sexual assault at school, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking to one of our experienced sex abuse survivors attorneys.