Lawsuit: 2 young girls sexually assaulted by vision specialist at Metro Detroit schools

Police investigating allegations

Lawsuit claims school vision specialist sexually assaulted young students

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – A federal lawsuit has been filed against two Metro Detroit school districts and some administrators after two young girls said they were sexually assaulted by a vision specialist in separate incidents.

Both incidents happened a year apart at a school in Garden City, according to the lawsuit. The vision specialist was contracted by Livonia Public Schools.

Both girls are special needs students who require help with their vision and mobility. Each girl reported the assault to her mother, and they both described similar experiences.

“He thought he could get away with the abuse by targeting young visually impaired elementary school girls, but he was wrong,” attorney Parker Stinar said.

Both girls are legally blind and were 8 years old when the assault happened, according to the lawsuit.

“We don’t think this just started at age 40-something for this man. Two different girls. One year apart. He’s been doing it for awhile,” attorney Ven Johnson said.

The federal lawsuit alleges both sexual assaults happened in the library, in a room behind a closed door with no windows and no other adults present.

“I don’t have any trust, and with my daughter’s condition, that’s something that I need,” said the Mother of Jane Doe 2.

Both girls said the vision specialist put occluders on them, which is a type of goggle that further reduces their vision. The vision specialist is accused of fondling the victims and placing his genitals on their hands and around their mouth.

“She felt uncomfortable, removed the occluder, saw the zipping of his pants and asked for the examination to be done,” Stinar said. “She wanted to go back to her classroom. She felt unsafe.”

The mother of Jane Doe 1 went to Garden City police and told school officials in 2019. A year later, Jane Doe 2 reported being assaulted.

Attorneys said the vision specialist kept working in Livonia, even after the incidents were reported. Garden City police are investigating both allegations.

Both mothers said they notified school officials and contacted police when their young daughters told them about the assaults.

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.