Former Pittsburgh school police officer Robert Lellock has been arrested and charged with raping 22 male students he was hired to protect. A federal lawsuit notes that school officials should have known about the abuse, as Lellock was frequently taking boys out of the classroom to rape them in a janitor’s closet.
According to the Tribune-Review, Robert Lellock worked for the Pittsburgh public school system as a school police officer where he repeatedly sexually abused at least 22 boys. One victim claims that Lellock removed him from class at least two dozen times to rape him in a janitor’s closet. The victim, who has not been named out of privacy, is now 29-years-old and says that he was raped as a student at the school from 1998-1999.
The lawsuit claims that at least two school officials should have noticed that Lellock was repeatedly taking boys out of the classroom. The lawsuit notes that the school police officer did not have permission to remove students from class; therefore, teachers and administrators should have investigated why the man was frequently seen removing male students from the classroom.
“Not a single teacher reported him, or even questioned him. Not a single teacher made an inquiry to the office,” the lawsuit says. “This speaks of a failure of training and policy of an unbelievable and conscience shocking level.”
The victim’s lawyer says his client waited until he was 29-years-old to file the lawsuit, so that he would have the best chance of winning as evidence has compounded against the former school cop over the years. Under Pennsylvania law, a child sex abuse victim has until their 30th birthday to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator. Therefore, lawyers say they waited until the last possible moment to file the lawsuit in order to have as much evidence as possible in the case.
“We wanted to make sure that it was fully researched and that our client was prepared to proceed considering how traumatically these events have impacted his life.”
WPXI reports that the former school cop, Lellock, is currently serving 32 to 64 years in prison for his abuse against the boys. However, the latest federal lawsuit is against school officials who the victim says should have questioned Lellock about his behavior all those years ago. In addition to the claims of sexual abuse, the victim says he was also punished for bringing a knife to school and subsequently expelled for the incident. However, the victim says he only brought the knife to school as an attempt to protect himself from the sexual predator Lellock.
What do you think about the lawsuit again Pittsburgh school officials in the case of the pedophile school cop? Should the school have questioned Lellock about removing boys from the classroom? Is the school partially responsible for the sexual abuse of the 22 boys?