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More victims may join legal action involving ex-Plymouth teacher accused of sexually abusing pupils

At least 13 victims have spoken to police, according to arrest warrants alleging Eschert behaved inappropriately around girls in his class and four administrators failed to act despite repeated complaints from children and parents. parents.

Eschert was charged in January with multiple crimes against children, including fourth-degree sexual assault. Four administrators, including former principal Crystal Collins, have been charged with failing to report the incidents. Directors Melisa Morelli, Sherri Turner and Rebecca Holleran have also been charged.

The case is unusual since the children came forward but no action was taken, said attorney Cindy Robinson, who is representing a victim in the lawsuit.

“It’s so hard for child victims to come forward,” Robinson said. “Here you have these brave victims showing up and no one was listening.”

Robinson said she had been contacted by at least one other family who wanted to join the trial. She declined to say whether the family were among the 13 victims listed in the arrest warrants.

“At this time we are investigating additional information,” Robinson said.

“This case is quite troubling,” Robinson said. “I think the shocking part is that you expect the perpetrator to be prosecuted, but it involves school staff who are also being prosecuted for not reporting.”

As Connecticut educators and administrators, the four administrators were required by law to report allegations of child abuse. But the arrest warrants say they knew the children and parents repeatedly complained about Eschert’s behavior but did nothing.

“How could it have lasted so long?” said a relative who spoke to police about Morelli’s role in the Eschert cover-up, according to the warrant.

The woman made the observation during an interview with police in December.

“If this comes out now, you’re not going to tell me they were the first children” to be abused, the warrant said.

Morelli’s arrest warrant also said the state Department of Education had investigated Eschert regarding his providing standardized test answers to female students. There was not a single document in his employment file that indicated he was under scrutiny by state officials and there was no documentation of repeated complaints from parents. and students regarding his behavior, Morelli’s mandate said.

The allegations against Eschert include taking pictures of female students in high skirts, bouncing them on his lap, touching them and having some sit under his desk, the warrant says.

The girl told police that Eschert would give her and three other girls special treatment, including early test responses, the warrant said. She also said Eschert “gave her her home address and invited her to dinner and ice cream,” according to the warrant.

Eschert’s attorney, William Conti, is seeking the mental health records of anyone called to testify in the criminal case and any exculpatory statements that “would favor the defendant on the issue of guilt or mitigation sentence,” according to court documents filed in January.

Conti is also representing Eschert in the lawsuit. Conti said the requests he filed for evidence and other data were standard, and he had already received a lot from police and prosecutors.

“It’s quite early and there’s a lot to watch,” Conti said. “I would ask the public to keep an open mind. My client maintains his innocence.

Eschert pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Robinson said Eschert’s behavior towards his client began during the 2017-18 school year.

“We’re piecing together our own timeline and it wouldn’t surprise me if it went back many years before,” Robinson said.