Girl sexually assaulted by teacher sues school districts
Charleroi Area School District and Bethlehem-Center School District failed to protect a 15-year-old girl sexually assaulted by a teacher in May 2012, the girl and her parents say in a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
The girl, now 17, says that Charleroi and high school Principal Patricia Mason denied her counseling during school days, failed to stop her harassment by other students, failed to remove her blood stain from the wall where her attacker rammed her head during the assault and fostered a hostile atmosphere at the school.
Representatives and solicitors for the two districts couldn't be reached for comment.
The lawsuit doesn't identify the victim or her parents, referring to them under pseudonyms.
Jeffrey Hahn, 25, of Belle Vernon pleaded guilty to the assault in April 2013 and is serving a state prison sentence of four to eight years.
He was a seventh-grade teacher in Bethlehem-Center on loan to Charleroi to direct the high school's spring musical.
The parents and victim are suing the two districts, Mason and Jennifer Mason Joyce, the teacher in charge of the musical who recruited Hahn.
Bethlehem-Center knew of previous inappropriate contacts between Hahn and other female students and failed to fully investigate the complaints or discipline him, the lawsuit says.
The victim told Joyce of inappropriate contacts by Hahn that preceded the attack, but she ignored the allegations and didn't report them to police as required by state law, according to the lawsuit.
Police charged Joyce with failing to report suspected child abuse and she was placed in a 12-month pretrial diversion program in January 2013, according to Washington County court records.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Contact him at 412-325-4301 or email@example.com.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.