SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – There’s a legal twist in the case of a vo-tech teacher who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing students. While the criminal case is complete, seven students are now pursuing civil lawsuits. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller looks at the latest legal developments.
“The children continue to suffer from the effects of the trauma.” Attorney Larry Moran, Sr. is talking about the trauma inflicted by 63-year-old former teacher Richard Humphrey. The West Wyoming man is now in prison after admitting last year he molested seven male students at Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County. Now, the seven students are pursuing civil legal action in Lackawanna County Court including three students represented by Mr. Moran. “We intend to obtain a substantial economic justice to which the children are entitled.”
Not only do the suits name CTC as a defendant, but also the students are seeking damages against their four home school districts: Lakeland, Valley View, Mid Valley and Scranton. “All of them had the responsibility to teach, to nurture, to protect and keep safe their students,” said Mr. Moran.
Eyewitness News reached out Tuesday morning for comment from solicitors for the four districts and CTC but through the afternoon had only heard back on the phone from one. Attorney Richard Fanucci serves as solicitor for both Lakeland and Valley View School Districts which combined represent the home schools for 5 of the abused students. He says both of those districts are prepared to fight this lawsuit vigorously on the grounds that Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County is its own entity.
Mr. Moran disagrees with that argument. “The districts never were off duty to protect their students, these children. The failure of that duty is what has brought these lawsuits.”
Mr. Moran and three other lawyers filed formal notice last Friday in Lackawanna County Court of their intent to sue. Since three other students were also abused by Mr. Humphrey at CTS, Mr. Moran expects more civil suits to be filed.