Lawsuit Claims School Failed To Prevent Sexual Abuse
HEBER CITY, Utah – A new lawsuit against a convicted felon and Soldier Hollow Charter School claims the school failed to prevent sexual abuse on a 10 year old boy in 2011.
“It definitely still has an impact,” the now 17 year old said. “It changed my life.”
Time changes many things. But after eight difficult years, the pain of abuse lingers for this former student of Soldier Hollow Charter School in Heber City.
“For a long, long time he would take me into his office and sit me on his lap and rub my leg.”
The teen, who will not be identified, said his former school principal Charles Weber raped him in the bathroom at a bowling alley during what was supposed to be a school activity.
He kept it to himself for about three years. And then finally opened up to his mom.
“I told her what happened and that was the day that kind of changed my whole entire life,” he said.
“You’re devastated as a parent. Why didn’t I say something or what would I have said,” said his mom, who did not want to be identified. “That kind of thing happens to your child by somebody their supposed to look up to and care about and that’s supposed to care about them.”
By the time he told his mom, Weber had already been arrested and sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison for two counts of forcible sodomy, in connection with the abuse of a 15-year-old boy, who was another former student.
This week, “Mother Doe”, as she’s referred to in the lawsuit, filed a complaint on behalf of her son “Billy Doe”, against Weber and Soldier Hollow Charter School. The court documents claim that before the assault on her son, the school board received several reports of Weber’s “sexually inappropriate behavior with students” but “failed to take corrective action calculated to protect the students” and, “as a result of this gross failure to act, Billy was sexually harassed, molested and abused by Weber.”
It further alleges that the school “knew or should have known of the Weber’s dangerous sexual propensities and that he was unfit to serve in any position within the school involving contact with students.”
“They don’t know how to defend themselves,” his mom said. “That’s what the school board is for to protect those children.”
In a statement to KSL, the school board wrote that it is,”very concerned about these allegations and takes them seriously. Since Mr. Weber was terminated by the school 7 years ago, the school has turned over all matters related to Mr. Weber to the Utah Attorney General’s office. As this matter is in litigation, the board can provide no additional comment.”
“I don’t really want people going through the same thing I went through,” Billy Doe said. “It’s not fun in any way. It sucks. It hurts. Emotionally and physically.”
“I just never would have believed…that he was doing that to anybody, let alone my son,” his mom said through tears.
For years now her son has dealt with depression, anxiety and other mental problems and self-harming behavior that has also taken a toll on their family financially.
Weber remains behind bars. But his time in there has done little to relieve the pain of others like Billy Doe.
“It helps knowing it’s not going to happen to anybody else. But it’s not something that eases me. Because even if he is in jail or isn’t in jail, it still happened to me.”
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