According to The Washington Post, a former teacher at Two Rivers Public Charter School has been charged for sexually abusing a former student.
Joan Lavery Meyer, 45-years-old, was charged with first-degree child sex abuse. The D.C. police and court documents state that the relationship began in 2009 when the student was 14-years-old.
Police Investigated Meyer two times after allegations surfaced, once in 2010 at Two Rivers and another in 2012 at a different school. Police reported that both cases were closed after the student and Meyer denied the sexual encounters. Meyer was let go from Two Rivers Public Charter School for “using bad judgment.”
The young man that accused Meyer of sexual abuse reported that he met Meyer when he was 12, and their first sexual encounter was when he was 14 and continued until he was 19-years-old.
Meyer claims her relationship with the student began after he turned 18-years-old. She denies that she broke the law.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville represents victims who have been sexually abused. We asked Laurence to provide insight into the legal rights of victims sexually abused by a teacher to help them determine their rights.
"Sexual predators are often found working in schools. These predators use their positions of power to take advantage of and abuse their students. Schools have a legal obligation to protect their students from harm and predators. To help ensure the safety of students, schools must provide preventative safety measures. For example, a school could implement cameras, guards, easy reporting systems, and more."
"If adequate security is not provided for students and a child is sexually abused, a school may be considered liable. In such cases, a school could be considered negligent. An example of negligence is if a teacher has been reported for misconduct, but the school permits the teacher to continue working. Victims of teacher sex abuse should secure an experienced sex abuse lawyer’s services to help determine whether their case involves negligence and the school could be deemed negligent. In such cases, victims should know they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the school."