LIVONIA, Mich. – Several women stepped forward on Wednesday and said their former middle school teacher sexually abused them.
“We need justice. I will no longer let anyone silence us. We’re so strong now. We always have been but now we’re ready,” said Emily Forrester.
There have not been any criminal charges. At least three school districts have responded with statements on the allegations.
The women said the teacher sent them explicit images and videos of himself when they were students at Clarenceville Middle School in Livonia. Attorneys said there were multiple incidents between 2005 and 2018. Attorneys said the teacher communicated with them through Snapchat and Telegram.
"He would send these young girls naked pictures of his penis and videos of him masturbating. He would make sexually suggestive and explicit comments to them about the way they were dressed, the way those clothes looked on their bodies, and how that made him feel. Many recall him constantly adjusting an erection in his pants,” said attorney Elaina Bailey.
Bailey said the teacher had ties with several schools and youth programs throughout the Metro Detroit area.
“We have also come to know that he was associated with other institutions including the Troy-Athens High School in Troy, Michigan, the Metropolitan Detroit Youth Course, Crescent Academy in Southfield, Michigan, Summit Academy in Romulus, Michigan, Madison High School in Madison Heights, Michigan, Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan," Bailey said.
Troy Schools released the following statement:
"We have immense sympathy for any victim of sexual assault, but have no information regarding what was alleged at a press conference today. The individual in question never worked for the Troy School District as a teacher or in any capacity, nor do we have any record of any student coming forward with allegations or concerns to any school official or to the District. We are aware that he graduated from one of our high schools in 1996 and came back to participate in at least two productions as an alumnus, but he was never in a position of authority or charged with supervision of students. We contacted Troy Police, who tell us they have no active case involving this individual.
"We take any allegation of this nature very seriously and have indicated our willingness to fully cooperate with police should any case develop.”
Clarenceville Public Schools released the following:
"The District has been made aware of a press release from a local law firm regarding a former employee of our District. As always, our District’s deepest commitment is to the health, safety, and welfare of our students.
"Beyond physical health and well-being, our commitment extends to all aspects of the student experience, including addressing any allegations of misconduct that might arise. In every such instance, the District seeks to respond immediately when we learn of allegations from or in relation to individuals within our school community.
"When allegations such as those contained within the press release surface, questions about how the District responded naturally follow. The District wants to make it clear that when concerns were shared during the former employee’s employment, the District promptly followed its established policies and fully investigated the concerns. To the extent that new allegations have been advanced, we are committed to fully cooperating with law enforcement to examine any such concerns from this former employee’s time with the District.
“The District does not discuss student or personnel matters in a public forum or comment on pending litigation of any kind. At the same time, the District wants to emphasize its commitment to working with and supporting all individuals within our school community.”
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