- Rich Klein
Speech Therapist Says She 'Did Not Observe Any Physical Contact' Between Teen Boy and Young Girl
Livingston Manor Central School District Facing Potential Liability In Child Sex Abuse Case
Livingston Manor Central School District Speech Therapist Laure Valentine told a New York State Police investigator in January that she did not observe any physical contact between a 14-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl - despite allegations in a lawsuit that the boy sexually assaulted the girl multiple times in her classroom nearly one year ago.
Valentine said in her statement that she was dividing her time between her computer and the students while the students were playing a game called "Guess Who."
Valentine also acknowledged in her statement that two other female students told her that they "felt uncomfortable" around the boy, who was known - according to allegations in the lawsuit - to have some behavioral issues prior to the alleged sexual abuse. Valentine also noted that the boy was her "assigned student assistant" and it's unclear at press time who made the decision to assign him to escort the child to the speech therapy class without any adult supervision.
The SullivanTimes emailed Valentine on Friday afternoon to ask additional questions about her statement given to the State Police.
In other court documents made public recently, a letter from the parents of the child to Superintendent John Evans (dated January 18, 2022) made him aware of the alleged abuse.
"I am writing to report multiple instances of sexual abuse /misconduct that our daughter described to us that happened on the LMCS campus," the letter began. The parents alleged that the boy touched their daughter's "privates (crotch area) every day since she started ...going to speech therapy last week (1/11/22)." (There is no court document that shows a letter or email replying to the parents).
Evans was previously asked to comment about the lawsuit but he declined, citing ongoing litigation.
The defendant's mother states as one of the affirmative defenses in the case that "injuries alleged to have been sustained by plaintiff (girl) were sustained while she was engaged in activity in which she had entered knowingly full well the hazards and inherent risks incident to such activity and knowingly the methods to be used for the performance of such activity and dangers therein."
The case is before State Supreme Court Justice Stephan Schick. The next court date for the parties in scheduled for February 14, 2023.
Statement of speech therapist Laure Valentine to State Police
Excerpt from NY State Police interview with speech therapist
Letter from parents of victim to Superintendent John Evans
Key excerpt from lawsuit filed in June