First Sex Abuse Cases Against Schools Filed Under Child Victims Act

Posted in Firm News on August 15, 2019

Two former New York public school employees were accused of sexual abuse in some of the first cases brought against school systems under the new Child Victims Act on Wednesday.

Auset Love, 45, said her former teacher at Public School 189 in Brooklyn, Jean Pamphile, routinely physically and sexually abused her starting in 1983 and never faced consequences. Joanne Schoonmaker, 51, said Robert Wade, a custodian at her Allegany County middle school began raping and molesting her at the age of 12.

“If the New York public school system had protected me from a dangerous predator 35 years ago, I would not be speaking with you today,” Love said at a press conference outside the city Education Department.

Love said she was 8 years old when Pamphile allegedly abused her classroom conferences and private tutoring sessions at the teacher’s home. She reported the alleged molestation to the NYPD as a teenager, but said Pamphile faced no repercussions.

Schoonmaker, who grew up in Wellsville in Western New York, alleges Wade raped her in a van and continued the abuse under the threat of violence against her family. She said her pleas to the principal did nothing.

Both cases were filed under the Child Victims Act, which gives past victims of sexual abuse one year starting Wednesday to bring lawsuits against their alleged attackers, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.

Lawyers and victims called on public school systems to publish complete lists of present and past employees who have been credibly accused of sex abuse.

“Every survivor deserves to be heard, and we have clear policies to ensure any allegation is immediately reported, investigated, and addressed,” said city Education Department spokeswoman Danielle Filson in a statement. Pamphile, Love’s accused abuser, retired from teaching in 2004.

To learn more, speak to our renowned New York sexual abuse attorneys today if you or a loved one have been sexually assaulted or harassed. We can help you get the compensation and bring your aggressors to justice.