Elementary School Teacher Accused of Child Sexual Abuse
A teacher from Iditarod Elementary School has been arrested by Wasilla police and charged with sexual abuse of a minor based on allegations that he inappropriately touched a student.
36-year-old Lukis Nighswonger has been charged with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the 2nd degree, which is a class B felony.
Mat-Su School District received a report that Nighswonger allegedly touched a student at the school inappropriately, which led to the arrest.
Mat-Su School District Superintendent Dr. Monica Goyette released a statement on Wednesday night stating that the district is fully cooperating with the investigation and that the district’s highest priority is supporting victims. She also said that anyone who suspects their child may have been abused should go directly to law enforcement.
Legal Recourse For Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is an attorney who fights for justice for the survivors of child sexual abuse and other crimes of sexual violence. We’ve asked him to contribute some insight into how the legal system can help families in this tragic situation:
Our children spend about half of their days at school, and we entrust the teachers and other school employees with their care. Unfortunately, jobs that involve working with kids sometimes attract sexual predators who seek to use their positions of trust as a means to sexually abuse kids. When a school employee abuses this student, we must make sure that the student gets the support they need, that the perpetrator is prosecuted, and that the school is held accountable if their negligence resulted in a failure to prevent the abuse.
In some cases, a school district is partially at fault for sexual abuse because of a failure to keep their students. For example, a district which fails to fire a teacher accused of sexual misconduct in the past could be considered negligent if that teacher abuses a student and the family decides to file a lawsuit.
If your family is struggling to find answers and justice after your child was sexually abused, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking with an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer.