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Thursday 19 July 2018

Teenage pupil wins €1m from female teacher who raped him

Boy and his father sued Jennifer Caswell and local school district of Hollis over abuse in 2015, which included sex in classroom

Jennifer Caswell appeared on Dr Phil
Jennifer Caswell appeared on Dr Phil
Jennifer Caswell in her mugshot

Lucy Pasha-Robinson

A female teacher who raped her 15-year-old student has been ordered to pay the teenager $1m (€851,000) in damages.

Jennifer Caswell’s relationship with the boy caused him significant “emotional distress”, Oklahoma City Judge Robin Cauthron ruled.

The boy and his father sued Caswell and the local school district of Hollis over the abuse in 2015, which included sex in her classroom, according to local mediaq.

"(The boy) reports feelings of depression, isolation, and self-blame for the events that transpired," Judge Cauthron said.

"He experienced humiliation when members of his community publicly chastised him and when strangers recognised him and questioned him about the scandal."

The court heard how the pupil, who has not been named, had once been a well-liked athlete at the school but became the subject of ridicule once the pair’s relationship went public.

The boy now goes to a new school where he has no family or friends, according to the Judge.

The 31-year-old teacher was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2015, five of them suspended, after pleading guilty to second-degree rape.

The attorney representing the boy and his father, Bob Wyatt, said they brought the lawsuit in the hope of raising awareness of sex abuse in schools.

"We are pleased that the judge considered the outrageous behaviour of the teacher and are pleased with the fact that the judge sent a message to teachers and schools across the state of Oklahoma that sexual abuse of a child by a teacher will not be condoned," Mr Wyatt said.

Caswell is serving her sentence at Mabel Bassett Correctional Centre in McLoud.

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