According to Delaware Online, a teacher at Delcastle Technical High School has been charged with rape.
James Berman, 48-years-old, has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child. Berman allegedly had a sexual relationship with a student at Wilmington high school that lasted over a year and began in October 2009.
The investigation into Berman began this spring after allegations were reported to the state Division of Family Services, and they reported them to the Criminal Investigations Unit. However, no additional details regarding the abuse were released to the public.
Berman faces 11 felony charges in connection with the rape of a former student. He has been charged with eight counts of fourth-degree rape and two counts of second-degree unlawful sexual contact, stated the police, Deleware Online reported.
Attorney contributor Phil Edwards is an experienced sexual assault attorney and represents victims of sexual abuse. In an interview, we asked Phil to provide commentary on legal options of victims sexually abused by a teacher.
"When a parent enrolls their student in a school, they trust that the school will be doing their best to provide a safe learning environment for their child. In fact, schools and administrations have a legal duty to protect enrolled students and provide the safest environment possible. Sadly, across the country, numerous teacher sexual assault cases have been reported. Often, these predators seek out positions of power and trust to exploit students. Therefore, when a school hires an employee, they must do their best to ensure the teacher is qualified. To ensure safety, schools should implement safety measures such as background checks, cameras, reporting systems, and more."
"When sexual abuse occurs, the victim and their family should question if the school did everything in their power to provide a safe learning environment for students. If a school fails to provide ample safety measures and sexual abuse by a teacher occurs, the school might be deemed liable in a lawsuit. Schools could be considered liable in sexual assault cases due to negligence. An example of negligence is if misconduct complaints were filed previously but ignored. Victims of abuse by a teacher should explore all their legal options with an experienced sexual assault attorney. In cases of negligence, victims and their families should know they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit."