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Klien, TX – Another shocking case of alleged sexual abuse involving a Houston-area teacher has come to light, raising concerns about student safety and the need for increased vigilance within educational institutions. The Klein Independent School District (Klein ISD) has been thrust into the spotlight once again as Matthew Stegeman Sr., a former teacher at Epps Island Elementary loaced at 7403 Smiling Woods Ln, Klein, TX 77086, was arrested on Monday, December 18, 2023, and charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact.

Elementary Teacher Accused of Sexually Abusing Student

According to court documents, a 7-year-old student at Epps Island Elementary reported to her mother that 52-year-old Stegeman had touched her inappropriately in September. The child claimed that Stegeman attempted to put his hands down her underwear, but she resisted and exclaimed her refusal. Shockingly, the documents allege that Stegeman responded by telling her, “You may not like it now, but you will later.” The student further revealed that Stegeman continued to engage in inappropriate touching on multiple occasions, often referring to her as “cute” and “pretty.”

Stegeman’s Troubling Past Incidents

It has been revealed that Stegeman had a prior incident involving inappropriate behavior with a student. The school’s principal informed investigators that Stegeman had previously been counseled regarding boundaries with students after allegedly kissing another female student on the cheek. This previous incident raises concerns about the effectiveness of the school’s response and whether appropriate measures were taken to prevent further misconduct.

TX Teacher Charged With Child Sexual Abuse

Matthew Stegeman Sr. appeared before a probable cause court judge on Wednesday, where he was assigned a $50,000 bond, after being charged with one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact. The former teacher expressed surprise and concern about the bond amount, questioning how he would come up with the required funds. The married father of two, was later released after posting bond. As part of his bond conditions, he is prohibited from contacting the alleged victim and must stay at least 500 feet away from any location where children gather, including schools, parks, and playgrounds.

Additional Victims Come Forward Alleging Sexual Misconduct

Prosecutors have revealed that two more students have now come forward as of February 12, 2024, accusing the previously arrested Klein ISD elementary school teacher of sexual misconduct. The victims, aged 7 and 8, allege that they were also subjected to inappropriate touching by Matthew Stegeman at Epps Island Elementary School. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is collaborating with Klein ISD police to determine if additional charges will be filed against the former elementary teacher.

Klein ISD’s Response

The Klein ISD promptly responded to the allegations, taking immediate action upon learning of the initial complaint. The district placed Stegeman on administrative leave and conducted a thorough investigation. Klein ISD also contacted the parents of Stegeman’s students to provide support and inform them of the situation. Following the investigation, the district terminated Stegeman’s employment. In a statement, the Klein ISD emphasized its commitment to student safety and reiterated its dedication to taking swift and appropriate action to protect students in such cases.

Promoting Awareness and Conversation

In light of these distressing incidents, authorities are urging parents to have open and honest conversations with their children about appropriate and inappropriate behavior. By educating children about recognizing and reporting instances of misconduct, it is hoped that they will feel empowered to speak out and seek help when necessary. The collaboration between parents, schools, and law enforcement agencies is crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of students.

Matthew Stegeman Sr. is scheduled to appear in court again on March 25 as legal proceedings continue.

Seeking Justice for Elementary Teacher Sexual Abuse Victims: Interview with Student Sex Abuse Lawyer

In light of the recent influx of Houston-area teacher sex abuse incidents, attorney Laurence Banville sat down for a conversation with Marc Lenahan, Esq., a sexual abuse lawyer based in Texas. The interview covered the crucial topic of pursuing civil cases against all liable parties in instances of sexual abuse by elementary teachers. Lenahan provided valuable insights into the steps victims and their families can take, potential liabilities involved, and the significance of seeking justice and compensation for the victims.

Laurence Banville (LB): Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Lenahan. Given your experience in this area, can you go over what steps victims and their families can take if their children have been sexually abused by an elementary teacher?

Marc Lenahan, Esq. (ML): Certainly, Laurence. It’s important for victims and their families to understand that they have legal rights and avenues to seek justice and compensation for the harm caused. In cases of sexual abuse by an elementary teacher, pursuing a civil case against the responsible parties can be a crucial step towards holding them accountable and preventing further abuse.

LB: What parties can be held liable in such cases?

ML: In these situations, several parties can potentially be held liable. The primary party is, of course, the teacher who committed the abuse. However, depending on the circumstances, the school district, administrators, and even individual employees who failed to properly respond to reports or investigate allegations may also bear responsibility.

LB: What are the potential outcomes of pursuing a civil case?

ML: By pursuing a civil case, victims and their families can seek compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, therapy costs, emotional distress, and future care needs. Additionally, a successful civil case can provide a sense of closure, validation, and a measure of justice for the victim.

LB: Are there any challenges victims and their families may face in pursuing such cases?

ML: Absolutely. These cases can be emotionally challenging for the victims and their families. Additionally, there may be legal obstacles, such as statutes of limitations, which vary by state and may limit the timeframe in which a lawsuit can be filed. However, it’s important for victims to consult with an experienced sex abuse attorney who can navigate these challenges and provide guidance.

LB: What advice do you have for victims and their families who are considering pursuing a civil case?

ML: First and foremost, it’s crucial to prioritize the victim’s well-being and safety. Seeking appropriate medical and psychological support should be the immediate focus. Then, consulting with an experienced sexual abuse attorney who specializes in these cases is vital. They can guide victims and their families through the legal process, explain their rights, and provide personalized advice based on the unique circumstances of each case.

LB: Thank you, Mr. Lenahan, for sharing your insights and shedding light on the options available to victims and their families.

ML: Thank you, Laurence. It’s my mission to support and advocate for survivors of sexual abuse, and I encourage anyone who has been affected to seek help and take the necessary steps towards healing and justice.

Seeking Legal Guidance? Contact Us for a Free Consultation.

If you or a loved one have been affected by sexual abuse perpetrated by an elementary teacher, it is essential to remember that you are not alone in this journey towards justice. The insights shared by attorney Marc Lenahan, Esq., shed light on the legal options available to victims and their families. Seeking legal guidance is a crucial step towards holding responsible parties accountable. If you are in need of support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. Our compassionate team is here to listen, provide guidance, and help you navigate the path towards healing and seeking the justice you and your family deserve.

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