A former Washington, D.C., charter school teacher was sentenced to three years in prison for sexually abusing a student.
Alan Coleman, of Gainesville, Florida, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court in October, admitting to having sex with the girl multiple times over a five-year span beginning during the 2004-2005 school year, when the girl was 14 years old.
As part of the plea, the D.C. sentence will run concurrently with the sentence to be imposed Feb. 9 in Montgomery County, Maryland, where most of the abuse occurred. He faces a sentence of four-to-seven years in prison there.
Coleman was the student’s teacher at KIPP DC KEY Academy. The abuse occurred at locations in D.C. and Takoma Park, Maryland, where Coleman lived at the time. According to the prosecution, Coleman would pick the girl up at or near the school and drive her to Maryland, but several times the abuse occured in his car while parked at a location in D.C.
The relatinship continued until the girl was 19, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
An investigation by the News4 I-Team revealed KIPP DC KEY Academy opted not to renew Coleman’s teaching contract after the 2004 school year.
A police affidavit in Coleman’s case said a KIPP DC Key Academy principal told police she suspected Coleman had an “inappropriate” relationship with a student in 2004 and “asked him to stand down.” The principal told police she did not renew Coleman’s contract because of the relationship.
Coleman found work from 2005 to 2015 at the Capital City Public Charter School in northwest D.C. despite undergoing a background check, according to a letter sent by Capital City Public Charter School to parents in 2016.
In their letter to parents after Coleman’s arrest, Capital City Public Charter School said, “We contracted for and received a clean background check of Mr. Coleman at that time, which Capital City requires for all new hires. During his employment, we had no concerns about his work or interactions with our students, and no one ever raised such concerns to us. In February 2015 we learned from an individual not connected with Capital City of allegations that Mr. Coleman had an inappropriate relationship with a minor from 2004-2007. The minor was never a student at Capital City.”
In a written statement to the I-Team, a KIPP DC spokesperson said, “KIPP DC can confirm that we did not extend Alan Coleman an offer letter for the 2005-2006 school year, after two years of him working at KEY Academy. At the time, had we been aware of any of the misconduct Mr. Coleman was later charged with, we would have immediately alerted the appropriate authorities.”
The written statement also said, “After learning of the charges against Mr. Coleman, we enhanced our already comprehensive background check processes and employee conduct trainings. For example, we implemented a new system of auditing staff background checks, which includes periodically re-running FBI checks on staff, even if they already passed an initial FBI background check during their hiring process. In addition, we implemented additional mandatory annual trainings for principals on appropriate interactions between staff and students and our obligations as mandatory reporters.”