Ashtabula Area City School District broke federal rights under Title IX, failing to protect its students from harm's way.
Attorney Eric Long is representing one of the six former students who filed a federal lawsuit earlier this week claiming they were sexually abused by former teacher and coach, Christine Seuffert, of the Ashtabula Area City School District during the late 1980s.
Seuffert "groomed and engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior" with students decades ago. The suit also alleges other district employees knew of her actions but did nothing to help, and in one instance even threatened some the victims with retaliation, including removal from athletic teams.
In the midst of her abusive behavior, Seuffert remained a prominent member of the district, eventually rising to the Ashtabula school board in 2009 and elected to a fourth term in 2021.
Last year, an investigation ensued after the school board received an anonymous letter outlining Seuffert's misconduct. County Prosecutor Colleen M. O'Toole did not file criminal charges against Seuffert due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
This civil lawsuit is currently in the "discovery" phase, which could be a months long process given how far back the events in question occurred.
Watch Attorney Eric Long's interview with WKYC here.
Read more about this lawsuit on Cleveland 19 News