According to MSN, a DC public school teacher faces charges after allegedly sexually abusing a student. Mark Walker, 39-years-old, has been accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student between the years of 2014 and 2016. The victim reported she was 15 when the sexual contact with Walker began; he was 33-years-old at the time.
Walker allegedly would walk the victim home after school and send her letters during the after-school program he led. The victim and other students would go to Walker’s house to do homework and watch movies. Walker would then drop the students at their homes. When dropping off the victim, Walker allegedly kissed her on one occasion. On another occasion, Walker invited her to his house in the summer of 2015 or 2016 and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her, reported the affidavit. The victim reported saying she was a virgin and did not want to engage in sexual relations; however, Walker attempted to penetrate her, making her cry.
The victim reported to authorities the relationship with Walker was romantic, and he gave her special attention and bought her gifts. Students began to notice, and the victim confided in friends about the relationship, reported MSN. One friend, listed as Witness 1, filed a complaint with Family Services Agency which prompted the investigation.
The friend who reported the relationship, Witness 1, said she had a relationship with Walker as well, but not while she was his student. However, she was 17-years-old at the time. Another witness reported Walker had a relationship with a different student. Investigators found Walker many witnesses who claimed they knew Walker had relationships with students.
Walker has been charged with engaging in a sexual act with a child and causing that child to engage in a sexual act, reported MSN.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville, an experienced sexual assault attorney, has represented numerous victims of sexual assault in civil lawsuits. Below, Laurence provided insight on the legal options of victims sexually assaulted by a teacher.
“School administrations and staff have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their students and ensure they are protected. Unfortunately, predators often place themselves in positions of power to exploit students sexually. As a result, we have seen numerous cases of teacher sexual abuse across the country. Schools must do their best to ensure the safety of their students by implementing safety measures. Safety measures include but are not limited to security cameras, guards, easy reporting systems, and background checks for staff. Schools must do its best to limit predators from working with students and limit sexual abuse.”
“If a school does not implement safety measures to assist in protecting their students, they may be considered liable for negligence. Some sexual abuse cases occur as a result of negligence by the school. Victims and their families should explore their legal options with an experienced sexual abuse attorney to learn if their case involved negligence. An example of negligence is if previous misconduct was reported or heard by other school staff, but the teacher was not investigated and permitted to continue working. Victims and their families should know in negligence cases they may have grounds for a lawsuit and receive compensation for damages.”