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Bedford, PA – Chestnut Ridge Middle School Assistant Principal Patrick N. Isgan has been charged with 62 counts of endangering the welfare of children, failure to report, and continuing failure to report in connection with the alleged sexual assault of students on a school bus between November and February. The charges were filed by Bedford County authorities.

Allegations of Repeated Sexual Assaults on Chestnut Ridge Middle School Bus

According to Bedford County authorities, Isgan is accused of failing to properly report allegations of sexual assault involving a 12-year-old male student and multiple victims, aged between 5 and 8, between November 2023 and February 2024. The district attorney stated that Isgan’s failure to report the initial allegations led to the children being repeatedly victimized.

School Officials Previously Investigated but Failed to Act

Troopers began an investigation into the school after receiving reports in February about multiple students being sexually assaulted by a 12-year-old male juvenile. They met with Isgan and middle school Principal Greg Lazor on February 12, 2024, to discuss the incidents. School officials claimed that they had already looked into the matter in November and concluded that no sexual assault had occurred. The school had initially been alerted to a possible problem when the district’s transportation provider reported an incident of sexual harassment on the bus. However, the claim was denied by the accused 12-year-old, and Isgan, after reviewing the security footage, did not witness any inappropriate touching.

Allegations of Ongoing Abuse Ignored

In February, a concerned parent reported further instances of inappropriate conduct, prompting another investigation. It was discovered that the older child had touched multiple students on several occasions. One 6-year-old female student reported that the older boy had touched her private area and refused to stop when told to do so. A 5-year-old male student also reported that the older boy touched him in his genital area and refused to stop.

Confession and Additional Evidence

Isgan met with the accused 12-year-old, who denied the claims at first. However, after subsequent discussions with his parents, the accused student confessed to the crimes. Isgan made the first ChildLine report on February 7. Pennsylvania State Police reviewed the November security footage with the school officials and observed the 12-year-old touching a 6-year-old male student in the genital area while seated behind the driver. The older student reportedly used book bags to conceal his actions.

Multiple Victims Allegedly Sexually Assaulted

According to the affidavit, the investigation revealed that six victims were subjected to sexual assaults by the 12-year-old between November and February. The accused student now faces charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, and aggravated indecent assault.

PA Middle School Assistant Principal Arrested For Failing to Report Sexual Abuse

Isgan has been arraigned and released on $1 million bond. He is prohibited from having contact with minors and is not permitted within 500 feet of areas where minors typically gather. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 27.

The district attorney emphasized the importance of mandatory reporting, stating, “The purpose of having mandated reporters is to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable of our population – our children and to ultimately prevent abuse.”

Understanding School Bus Sexual Abuse Cases

The recent news of the Chestnut Ridge Middle School’s failure to report alleged sexual assault has left many parents and community members in shock. School sexual abuse victims and their families may be wondering about their legal options for seeking justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered. To help answer these questions, we sat down with Brian Kent, Esq., a local Pennsylvania child sex abuse lawyer, to discuss what the victims abused on a school bus, in general, can do with a civil case against liable parties.

Laurence Banville, Esq. (LB): Thank you for joining us, Mr. Kent. Given your experience in handling cases involving child sex abuse, could you provide some information on how victims of school bus abuse can take legal action against those responsible?

Brian Kent, Esq. (BK): Certainly, Laurence. Victims who have suffered abuse on a school bus may have the opportunity to pursue civil cases against the individuals and entities that are legally liable for their harm.

LB: What steps can victims take to initiate a civil case for school bus abuse?

BK: Victims, or their legal representatives, can consult with a knowledgeable child sex abuse attorney to evaluate the viability of a civil case. These cases typically involve identifying the responsible parties, such as the abuser, school officials, or transportation providers, and gathering evidence to support the claims of abuse.

LB: What legal grounds might victims be able to base their cases on?

BK: Victims of school bus abuse may have grounds to pursue claims based on negligence, premises liability, or failure to protect. Negligence claims can arise when those responsible for the safety of the students fail to take reasonable measures to prevent abuse or adequately respond to reports of misconduct. Premises liability claims could be relevant if the school or transportation provider failed to maintain a safe environment for the students. Failure to protect claims may arise if the responsible parties were aware of the abuse or had reason to suspect it but did not take appropriate action.

LB: How can victims seek compensation through civil cases?

BK: In civil cases, victims can seek compensation for various damages, including physical and emotional injuries, medical expenses, therapy costs, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. The amount of compensation awarded depends on factors such as the severity of the abuse, the impact on the victim’s life, and any ongoing consequences they may face.

LB: Are there any time limits for pursuing civil cases in these situations?

BK: Yes, statutes of limitations establish the timeframe within which victims can file civil claims. These limitations vary by state and can be complex. However many new changes have allowed for more time for victims to file, so, it’s crucial for individuals to consult with an attorney to understand the specific time limits that apply to their particular circumstances.

LB: Thank you for sharing this valuable information, Mr. Kent. We hope this will assist victims and their families in understanding their options and taking appropriate action.

BK: You’re welcome, Laurence. My primary objective is to support victims and their families during these challenging times. If anyone has been affected by school bus abuse or has questions about pursuing a civil case, I encourage them to reach out to an experienced child sex abuse attorney who can provide personalized guidance.

Was Your Child Sexually Assaulted on a School Bus? Contact Us for a Free Consultation.

The trauma and harm caused by sexual abuse on a school bus can have long-lasting effects on the victims and their families. If your child has been a victim of sexual abuse on a school bus, it is important to seek justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered. Our team of attorneys has extensive experience handling sexual abuse cases, and we will work tirelessly to hold the liable parties accountable and help you and your family seek the justice and compensation you deserve. We offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward seeking justice and healing.


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