According to the New York Post, a teacher at Springtown Intermediate School has been charged for having a years-long sexual relationship with a student, authorities reported.
Misty Lorene Cato, 43-years-old, was a fifth-grade math teacher. The abuse allegedly began when the student was 15-years-old and continued for several years. Cato reportedly gave the student rides to school numerous times.
Authorities reported that in an interview, Cato admitted knowing he was juvenile and having sexual encounters anyway. Additionally, the sheriff's office obtained a recording of Cato confessing her love for the student for four years.
Cato was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation of the allegations. Cato was arrested on the charge of improper relationship between an educator and student.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer, represents victims and their families sexually abused by a school employee. In an interview, we asked Marc to share his thoughts on the legal rights of victims sexually abused by a teacher.
"Across the country, we have seen sexual predators found working in schools exploiting their positions of trust against students. Nonetheless, schools have a legal obligation to provide the best safety possible to their enrolled students and staff. Schools should implement safety measures, such as misconduct reporting systems, security cameras, and guards, to ensure the safety of their students and help prevent sexual assault from occurring."
"If a school fails to provide adequate safety measures for their students, the school might be considered liable in a lawsuit if one of their teachers is charged with misconduct. In such cases, a school would be considered liable due to negligence. These victims and their families should secure the services of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer to help determine whether their case involves negligence and they have grounds for a civil lawsuit. In negligence cases, the victim and their family may receive monetary compensation for damages."