The Perry School District in Oklahoma has agreed to pay $3.5 million to victims of sexual abuse.
According to KTUL, the Perry School District will pay $250,000 to each of the 14 victims in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a teaching assistant. The payment will be in the form of an annuity with $3.5 million coming from the district’s insurance and $2.8 million from property taxes.
The 85-year-old teaching assistant, Arnold Cowen, was arrested and accused of sexual abuse two years ago. Students reported the abuse to teachers and the school principal but school officials took no action. Instead, the principal and teachers accused the students of lying on Cowen.
Oklahoma is a mandatory reporting state, which requires that school officials report all incidents of child abuse to the authorities. The lawsuit accused the school officials and the Perry School District of failure to report.
According to the organization Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation (SESAME), 3.5 million 8th-11th graders in the United States reported unwanted sexual contact by a teacher between 2011 and 2015.
Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make an enormous, positive difference in a child’s life. Here are steps to take if you think a child is a victim of sexual abuse:
If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.