Jury Finds Former McKay High Teacher Noah Powers Guilty of Sex Abuse
On Friday, a Marion County jury unanimously found former McKay High School teacher Noah Powers guilty of sexually abusing a young girl. This is the second time Powers has been convicted of child sex crimes. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to attempted sex abuse of a child and served time in prison for that offense.
In the most recent case, the 45-year-old former teacher was charged with first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, and attempted rape. He was found guilty on all four counts.
The victims in both cases were known to Powers. In the first case, he was accused of sexually abusing his then-step-daughter at their home in West Salem over three years. At that time, he was known as Noah Harouff. He changed his last name after being released from prison.
The victim in the second case reported that Powers had repeatedly sexually abused and assaulted her, including abuse during a camping trip and an attempted rape. The girl was under 12 years old during most of the alleged abuse.
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First Victim Sued Noah Powers For Sexual Abuse
Powers’ first victim, Alexandra Harding, filed a lawsuit against Powers in 2013, seeking $950,000 in damages. This lawsuit was filed to prevent Powers from contacting the victim. According to Harding, Powers had begun showing up at her home and workplace and following her vehicle after his release from prison.
The lawsuit alleged that Powers had negligently caused emotional distress to Harding, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, intimacy problems, panic attacks, feelings of shame, and difficulty trusting others.
A judge ruled in Harding’s favor, ordering Powers to pay her $6,500 in installments. If he defaulted on those payments, he would be held liable for another $500,000.
Lawsuits For Victims of Child Sexual Abuse
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps survivors of sexual abuse fight for justice in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked him to share a few thoughts on the legal rights of child sexual abuse survivors:
Victims of child sexual abuse have legal rights. However, many of these victims may not be aware of how the legal system can help them. While the criminal justice system handles the investigation and prosecution of sexual predators, it does not always attend to the needs of victims. This is why many survivors turn to the civil court system by filing a lawsuit.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, survivors of sexual abuse may have grounds for a lawsuit against their abuser or a third party whose negligence contributed to the abuse.
For example, a survivor of abuse by a teacher may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school district if the school failed to prevent or stop the abuse through negligence, such as failing to run a background check before hiring the abuser.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of child sexual abuse, you can learn more about your legal rights by speaking with an experienced sex abuse victims attorney.
McKay High School in Salem, Oregon
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