WASHINGTON — The Montgomery County Board of Education is being sued for millions of dollars in connection with a teacher who was convicted of child sex abuse.
In announcing the suit, Jeff Herman, a Florida lawyer who specializes in sexual abuse cases involving children, said Thursday “the school system here has failed miserably at protecting its students” from John Vigna, a former teacher at Cloverly Elementary School, in Silver Spring, Maryland, who was convicted of nine counts of sexual abuse in June and was sentenced to 48 years in prison last week.
Herman said he had filed a Title IX suit on behalf of family of one of the victims, who is now 12. He didn’t specify how much the family was seeking, but said it was in the millions.
Herman said Vigna had been reprimanded in 2008 for putting children on his lap.
“That’s what we call a red flag,” Herman said.
Herman said Vigna was only reprimanded at the time.
Similar allegations surfaced in 2013, the lawsuit claims, and Vigna was removed from the classroom for three weeks. The victim whose family filed the lawsuit was molested during the 2013-2014 school year, the lawsuit said.
The school system said it wouldn’t comment on the pending case, but after Vigna was convicted, Superintendent Jack Smith said Vigna had been placed on administrative leave after allegations were reported in February.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.
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