CareyTown Teacher Arrested For Alleged Child Sexual Abuse
On Wednesday, October 31, former CareyTown teacher Derek Shafer pleaded guilty to seven counts of a 19-count indictment accusing him of sexually abusing multiple students. The 32-year-old admitted to raping and kidnapping at least three students in the plea deal.
Shafer was arrested on August 9 when the parents of two female students filed complaints with the Zanesville Police Department, claiming that Shafer sexually assaulted their daughters when they were between the ages of 7 and 9. The next day, a third victim contacted authorities alleging that Shaffer sexually assaulted her when she was 7 or 8 years old.
All three of these victims were students in Shaffer’s classroom and all three told similar stories involving sitting on Shaffer’s lap and inappropriate touching, including digital penetration. The victims said that these incidents happened several times over a nearly two-year period.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Ron Welch, CareyTown knew about the investigation but continued to allow Shaffer access to children. Shaffer worked at CareyTown for about a decade. Welch also says that Beverly Singleton, CareyTown’s director, talked with Shaffer about inappropriate social media communication with students but Shaffer was never disciplined. Singleton also allegedly caught Shaffer with students sitting on his lap two or three times and told him not to do that again, but he was still not disciplined.
Shaffer pleaded guilty to two counts of rape an two counts of kidnapping (first-degree felonies), three counts of gross sexual imposition (third-degree felonies), and one count of pandering obscenity of a minor (fourth-degree felony). As part of the plea deal, Shaffer agreed to tell investigators the names of all of the children he abused so that the families could be notified and the children could receive therapy. He has not yet been sentenced but faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Legal Options For Survivors of Daycare Sexual Abuse
Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is an attorney who specializes in helping sexual abuse survivors find justice by filing lawsuits. We’ve asked him for some thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused at daycares and preschools:
In cases of child sexual abuse, it’s common for the perpetrator to be someone close to the victim – including family members as well as authority figures like teachers, coaches, daycare employees, and others. In fields that involve working with children, it’s crucial for management to do all that they can to keep the kids under their watch safe from any type of abuse.
When a child is sexually abused by a daycare employee, it’s important to determine if the facility was negligent in a way that enabled the assault. For example, a daycare may be considered negligent for failing to suspend or terminate an employee being investigated for sexual abuse and allowing that employee to continue working with kids.
If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a daycare or preschool employee, you may be able to find justice through the legal system. Consider speaking to one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors lawyers today to learn more about your legal options.