According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a former nurse at St. John Vianney High School, located at 1311 S Kirkwood Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122, has been arrested and charged with felony sex crimes for her sexual contact with a student.
On Friday, Erin Foerstel, 43, was placed in custody for an incident that occurred at the all-male Catholic private school. Foerstel faces charges of statutory sodomy in the second degree in addition to having sexual contact with a student under the age of 17. She confessed to police that she performed a sexual act on a student at Vianney last month.
Foerstel, who worked at Vianney from August 2020 until April 24, was terminated by school administrators after receiving the alleged incident report. Foerstel is currently in custody in St. Louis County jail, with her bond set at $75,000.
Attorney contributor Ryan Frazier represents private Catholic school sex abuse victims and their families in Missouri. During a recent interview, Ryan shared the legal rights available for victims to seek justice for sexual misconduct in a private school.
"As an attorney, I am appalled to hear about the increasing reports of sexual assault perpetrated by high school employees against students. Private schools are legally responsible for maintaining security measures to prevent sexual abuse on their campuses. Schools must take reasonable steps to protect students from physical and sexual harm. This includes implementing security measures such as background checks for staff and volunteers, training staff on recognizing and reporting signs of abuse, and implementing safety protocols such as locked doors and security cameras. Schools must also take steps to ensure that any reports of sexual abuse are investigated and addressed promptly. Failure to do so can result in legal liability.
Victims of sexual assault, especially those groomed and abused by a trusted employee such as a nurse at a Catholic private school, have legal rights. Depending on the circumstances, victims may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and the school for damages such as medical expenses and emotional distress. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available.
I urge any victim of sexual assault to contact an experienced school sex abuse attorney as soon as possible. A legal professional can help victims understand their rights and the legal options available to their unique situation. No student should ever have to endure the trauma of sexual assault, and victims deserve justice."