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I-Team: Victims file lawsuit against former band teacher, Pittston Area School District over sexual abuse charges

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — New developments in the case of a former Pittston Area School District high school band leader recently convicted of a number of child sex crimes.

Three of his victims have filed lawsuits against him, another district employee and the district itself. This lawsuit alleges that school district officials did nothing to stop Brendan Carter despite what they say were numerous red flags.

“The system’s failure for child safety at Pittston Area is staggering,” attorney Neil O’Donnell.

So says O’Donnnell, who filed a civil suit on behalf of three former Pittston Area High School students who were members of or affiliated with the high school band.

Brendan Carter was sentenced last week to seven to fourteen years in prison for the crimes after being convicted in 2020 of committing sex crimes against nine teenage boys between 2014 and 2018.

The 22-page lawsuit also names Nicholas Viccica who allegedly did not report a complaint from a student.

“He was the assistant band director. There was a direct complaint to the assistant band director about misconduct that he chose to ignore. The district ignored red flags all through Brendan Carter’s service as band director,” O’Donnell said.

Viccica was not charged criminally in the case. He testified at the trial on behalf of Brendan Carter. The lawsuit alleges that Carter often made comments referring to the sex games he would play with his victims at band practice in front of groups of students.

“Some of the allegations, some of the evidence in this case is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. I mean the strict sexual exploitation of these boys by Brendan Carter and there is clear evidence that the Pittston Area School District ignored expressed red flags concerning Brendan Carter’s conduct over a long period of time,” O’Donnell said.

The school district solicitor, attorney Samuel Falcone, Jr. issued a statement regarding the civil lawsuit: “The actions of Mr. Carter were repugnant and criminal, however, the Pittston Area School District should not be held liable for criminal behavior that was carried out in secret and of which the district had no prior knowledge. When the school district received a report of Mr. Carter’s behavior, law enforcement was immediately contacted, he was immediately removed from school property and band parents were advised. The district maintains it acted swiftly and appropriately.”

The attorney representing Nicholas Viccica, who no longer works for the Pittston Area School District, said he had not seen the lawsuit and would not make a comment at this point in time.

The lawsuit states that the three victims are suffering psychological issues from the sexual abuse at the hands of Carter and is seeking unspecified financial damages. Those damages start at $50,000.

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