Archbishop John Carroll High School theater director Christopher Serpentine was arrested on June 5 for allegedly sexually assaulting a student. Serpentine is the second Archbishop Carroll staff member arrested on allegations of sexual assault in the past two months, as a music teacher was charged with similar offenses in late April.
Serpentine is charged with four counts of institutional sexual assault. According to investigators, he was involved in a sexual relationship with a student from the school between April and June of 2017. Some of the alleged assaults are believed to have occurred on the school’s campus. Serpentine continued a relationship with the student after graduation.
The student came forward to police last month and gave them an iPad with messages between her and Serpentine, which discussed their relationship.
In April, Archbishop Carroll music teacher Jeremiah Triplett was arrested for allegedly having sex with a student and providing her and a second student with marijuana edibles.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent specializes in helping survivors of sexual abuse find answers, support, and justice. Here is Brian with a few thoughts on the legal options available to school sex abuse victims and their families:
Sexual abuse by school staff members has become a nationwide problem. Sexual predators often seek out positions where they’ll have authority and be trusted, which means our schools are common targets. Schools must stay aware of these risks and do everything they can to keep their students safe from these predators, such as running background checks and taking any allegations of sexual misconduct seriously.
There are many difficult issues that need to be addressed after a student comes forward with allegations of sexual abuse by a staff member. The allegations must be reported to the authorities, who can then begin investigating and prosecuting the perpetrator. Additionally, it’s important to determine if the school failed to do all that they could to prevent or stop the abuse. In cases that involve school negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a school sex abuse lawsuit.
If you or someone in your family has been sexually abused by a school staff member, your family may be able to find justice through a civil lawsuit. You can learn more about your family’s legal options by contacting one of our experienced sex abuse survivors lawyers.