A girl whom police say was sexually abused by her high school teacher is suing the Boone County Board of Education alleging it knew about several instances where employees sexually abused students and failed to take action.
The 15-year-old girl’s lawyer repeats allegations in a criminal complaint filed in June against Sherman High School teacher Alan K. Robinson, Jr., 31, of Seth.
He is charged with sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust with soliciting a minor via computer. Robinson was also the faculty sponsor of the Young Christians in Action Club, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Boone County Circuit Court.
On June 1, the girl was on a school sponosored activity with the action club and Robinson. When she got home late, at about 11 p.m., her mother took her cell phone and discovered sexually explicit text messages allegedly sent by Robinson.
According to the lawsuit, Robinson began initiating a relationship with the girl, identified in the complaint only as Jane Doe, in the spring.
Police said after Robinson’s arrest that he was cooperative and admitted sending the texts.
“The information sent to this child by a man who was tasked with providing her with an education is truly shocking,” Boone County Sheriff Randall White said in a news release after Robinson’s arrest.
In July, three Boone County educators had been arrested and charged with sexually abusing students in about three months.
Brandon Arvay, a teacher at Scott High School, was charged with solicitation and sexual abuse. Multiple students are involved in the allegations against him, according to police.
Garth Mock, a principal at Van High School, was arrested on April 3 and charged with sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust for allegedly having sex with high school students. He was placed on leave in late January.
The charge against Mock was dropped in June. Prosecutors have said they plan to refile it and dropped it only because they didn’t want a teenage girl to have to testify in a public hearing in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.
The 18-year-old girl involved told the Gazette at the time that prosecutors had dropped the charge because she and another girl were refusing to testify against him.
According to the criminal complaint, Mock, 44, had sex with two students at his apartment on Chesterfield Avenue in Kanawha City. He was charged with having sex with one of the girls, who was 17.
Boone County education officials did not return calls for comment about the lawsuit. Superintendent John Hudson said last month that he couldn’t discuss personnel matters but that the county’s school system uses the same hiring procedures as other counties.
The lawsuit, filed by Cross Lanes attorney Patrick Lane, alleges the Boone County Board of Education failed to properly screen prospective employees, failed to properly train current employees and failed to properly protect children from child sexual predators it employs.
The board “has created a permissive environment for employees to sexually harass students as evidenced by text messages sent by Robinson to Jane Doe in which he shared the substance of a converstation during school time, on school property among several school employees during which these employees discussed the minor children/students with whom they would like to pursue sexual relationships,” the lawsuit states.
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