A former coach and teacher at The Woodlands High School was arrested last week and charged with sexual assault of a child.
According to court documents, 31-year-old Richard Bernard Chiamulera told an investigator with the Conroe ISD Police Department that he participated in various sexual activities with a 16-year-old student at his apartment.
Court records say that Chiamulera told the investigator "there was this good piece of me that saw it was wrong," on February 13. He was the girl's junior varsity basketball coach and first befriended her when she was a freshman.
On February 5, students at The Woodlands High told a counselor that their friend had been engaging in sexual activity with Chiamulera at his home. He was suspended on February 6.
Chiamulera was arrested on Wednesday and ordered held at the Montgomery County Jail on a $300,000 bond.
Chiamulera has also coached school sports in Houston, Tennesse, and Michigan.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan represents survivors of sexual violence in civil lawsuits. We've asked him to share some thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by coaches, teachers, and other school employees:
Every school must make sure to do all that it can to create a safe environment for its students. School leaders must be aware of the fact that sexual predators often seek out positions of trust and authority in fields like education. Preventative measures must be taken in order to keep students safe from these predators and when allegations arise, law enforcement must be contacted immediately.
Some cases of school employee sexual abuse only occur due to negligence by the school. For example, a school might be considered negligent if they failed to investigate or report previous allegations of sexual misconduct involving an employee. Cases which involve negligence often result in a lawsuit by the victims and their families.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a coach, teacher, or another school employee, we understand how traumatic these times have been for your family and we want to help. You can learn more about your family's legal options by contacting one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors attorneys.