The Bay Net has reported that a grand jury has charged a former teacher at the Saint Peter’s School located at 3310 St Peters Dr, Waldorf, MD 20601.
Back in June of 2022, 54-year-old Matthew Anthony Strain was charged with three counts of felony sexual abuse of children. The three victims were all students he taught at the private Catholic school overseen by the Archdiocese of Washington. The victims allege the former teacher would kiss their foreheads, hug them for long periods of time, and touch them on their thighs. One victim said the incident occurred in 2018 between February and March. The other two occurred between September 2018 and June 2019.
Despite the Saint Peter’s Parish and School and The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington being aware of the allegations and charges, the parents and former parents were not notified of these allegations until September 22, 2022. Many parents felt the school failed them due to the lack of communication.
Attorney contributor Aaron Blank works for a law firm dedicated to seeking justice for victims through civil law. As an experienced school sexual abuse attorney in Maryland, he often represents victims sexually abused in Catholic schools.
"School officials should always be concerned about the safety of their students. Sadly, reports of sexual predators working in Catholic schools have increased recently across the nation. Predators take up positions of trust and power to exploit and abuse vulnerable children within their schools."
"Many times the school may have been able to prevent the abuse had they provided proper security measures. Keeping functioning security cameras, conducting background checks for all employees, and frequent security sweeps are just some of the things that could be done to reduce the risk of Catholic school abuse. If a teacher is accused of sexually abusing a student, there should be a full investigation and parents should be notified. In addition to the police investigation, the authorities should look into any third parties that may have been negligent. This could include the Catholic school and its Archdiocese."
"Victims of sexual abuse are often not aware of their legal rights. Many times they wait before they report the misconduct out of fear or other reasons. In negligence cases, the victim and their family could have sufficient grounds to file a lawsuit against the school or diocese. However, there are statutes of limitations that apply to how long a victim has to file a suit for school sex abuse. Victims and their families can learn more about their legal options and any deadlines by speaking with an experienced attorney for school sexual abuse."