The Legal Examiner Affiliate Network The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner search instagram avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner
Skip to main content
back view of students at desks in classroom
Abuse Guardians
+1 (877) 421-9608

Dallas, TX – In a shocking development, Dallas police have apprehended 46-year-old Matthew Harmon, a former private school teacher, following a comprehensive yearlong investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a child. The arrest comes after an arrest warrant was issued for Harmon in late May.

Disturbing Allegations Emerge Against Former Private School Teacher

According to detectives, the offense occurred in 2007, involving a victim whom Harmon met while teaching and coaching at The Providence Christian School of Texas in Dallas from 2004 to 2007. The victim, who was in the eighth grade at the time, revealed to investigators that Harmon would hold private tutoring sessions with her.

As the sessions progressed, Harmon allegedly began buying her gifts, including bras and underwear. The victim further claimed that when she was around 16 years old, Harmon had intercourse with her at his apartment and various hotels.

School Responds to Allegations of Teacher Sex Abuse

In a statement, Providence Christian School acknowledged learning of the accusations in the fall of 2022 and promptly reporting the information to authorities. The school’s Board of Trustees also hired an independent investigator to review the allegations and school policies.

Investigator’s Findings Raise Concerns of School Negligence

The independent investigator’s report identified “credible accounts of misconduct committed by the former teacher and coach during and after his tenure at Providence and a failure of leadership by the Providence administration at the time.” Alarmingly, the investigator found evidence suggesting that Harmon may not have been properly screened before being hired due to allegations of prior misconduct.

Furthermore, the investigator noted that red flags spotted by staff members, including private meetings with female students, were not reported to leadership. Some behavior that was reported was “handled by leadership in a defensive manner,” according to the investigators.

Potential for Additional Victims Sexually Abused By Harmon

Investigators revealed that Harmon had been in contact with thousands of children during his work and volunteering, which included stints at Trinity Christian Academy and Kanakuk camps in Durango, Colorado, and Branson, Missouri, from 1995 through the mid-2000s. While additional victims have been identified, police believe there may still be other unidentified victims.

Providence has stated that the investigation has prompted a review of the school’s safety and security policies and protocols.

Legal Avenues for Victims of Sexual Abuse by Private School Staff

The arrest of Matthew Harmon, the former Dallas private school teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student, has raised questions about the legal recourse available to victims in such cases. To provide clarity, we spoke with Anjali Nigam, an experienced Texas attorney experienced in school sexual abuse lawsuits. Nigam offered her perspective on the rights of victims and how to hold abusers and negligent institutions accountable through civil action.

Laurence Banville, Esq.: Thank you for joining us, Anjali. Can you explain the legal rights available for those sexually abused by a private school teacher?

Anjali Nigam, Esq.: Absolutely. Victims of sexual abuse by a private school teacher may have grounds to pursue civil lawsuits against the perpetrator and the school itself. Schools have a legal duty to protect students and can be held liable for negligence if they failed to properly screen, supervise, or respond to reports of misconduct.

LB: How can negligent parties be held accountable in these situations?

AN: In addition to suing the individual perpetrator, victims can file claims against the school for negligent hiring, supervision, and retention if the school knew or should have known about the teacher’s inappropriate behavior but failed to take action. Damages can include compensation for emotional distress, therapy costs, and other losses.

LB: What advice would you give to victims considering legal action?

AN: I would encourage victims to come forward and consult an experienced attorney. These cases are complex, but holding abusers and negligent institutions accountable is crucial for justice and preventing future abuse. With the right legal representation, victims can get the support and compensation they deserve.

Seek Justice with Experienced Legal Representation

The trauma inflicted by sexual abuse can have lasting impacts, making it imperative for victims and their families to explore all available legal options. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse by a private school teacher or staff member, do not hesitate to come forward. Our team of sexual abuse attorneys offers compassionate guidance and zealous advocacy to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are protected. Contact us today for a confidential, free consultation to discuss your case and the path forward.

Source:

https://www.fox4news.com/news/matthew-harmon-providence-school-sexual-assault-child

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Please do not include personal details in your comment. To message the author privately instead, click here.

Contacting the author via this website, either publicly or privately, does not create an attorney–client privilege.