Vision specialist charged with sexually assaulting 10-year-old girl in Wayne County

James Baird covered windows, blindfolded her, exposed himself while forcing her to touch him

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – A vision specialist has been charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in Wayne County.

Police say, James Baird, 43, assaulted students at schools in Livonia and Garden City, and family members of one of the victims have filed a lawsuit.

The 43-year-old teacher from Plymouth, the vision specialist working with Livonia Public Schools and Garden City Public Schools, has been charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.

The allegations say that at school, Baird sexually assaulted young kids he was doing vision tests on. Now one family has filed a federal lawsuit against him, Livonia, and Garden City Schools.

Read: Former teacher charged with sexual assaults of 4 girls ages 10-15 from 3 Wayne County schools

One of the victims was a 10-year-old visually impaired girl who had just moved with her family from Iraq in search of the American dream.

“This dream was destroyed by the educator James Baird when he took their daughter into a private classroom, locked the door, and did the unthinkable,” said the family’s attorney Abdallah Moughni.

Moughni’s complaint exposes new, horrific details which allege that in 2019 once the 10-year-old was alone with Baird in a classroom at Garden City’s Douglas Elementary, he covered the windows, blindfolded her, and exposed himself while forcing the child to touch him.

Then the suit alleges that school officials allowed Baird to take the girl out of school and walk her into the neighborhood where she was threatened.

“When Baird had taken her off campus, three neighborhoods down from the school, while holding her hand, he stopped her, and he let her know, ‘If you ever tell a soul about what happened in that room, you will be punished,’” Moughni said. “She feared for her life, and she never told a soul.”

The 10-year-old student went to a different school district and didn’t say a word about what had occurred prior. Moughni said when it was time for another vision test at another school, she said “Absolutely not” and revealed what had happened previously.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.