A lawsuit has been filed against the Pittsburgh Public School District by a former student, now 29-years-old, who claims teachers and staff kept quiet while a former cop raped 22 boys, including himself.
A raped victim — whose name will not be released – claims that during the time he attended Arthur J. Rooney Middle School in 1998 and 1999, he was constantly taken out of class by then 30-year-old Robert Lellock – who was the school cop – and taken to the janitor’s closet, according to Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
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While in the janitor’s closet, he was raped by Lellock and then taken back to class. The school cop repeated the vicious act countless times and would force himself on other teen boys as well. Up to 21 boys according to the victim.
Now that the victim is an adult, he realized that not only Lellock is at fault, but so are the teachers and staff at the middle school. He claims that during those times, no one was allowed to take the children out of the classrooms, except for teachers and the principal.
Although his teachers were aware of that rule, they remained silent while Lellock would take the boys out of the classroom. Had the teachers at Arthur J. Rooney Middle School reported him or refused to let the children leave as they were directed to, the crime would have never taken place.
On Wednesday, he filed a lawsuit against Pittsburgh Public School District, which consists of the school principal Ronald Zangaro, superintendent Dale Frederick, and the school board.
“They were charged with the welfare and protection of the children entrusted to them, and they failed these children repeatedly and systematically by turning a blind eye to the obvious signs of abuse being perpetrated by defendant Lellock,” according to documents.
“Not a single teacher reported him, or even questioned him. Not a single teacher made an inquiry to the office. This speaks of a failure of training and policy of an unbelievable and conscience-shocking level.”
Former principal Zangaro had even caught Lellock in the janitor’s closet with a student getting up from the floor. Knowing that the behavior was suspicious, he still said nothing.
The victim’s lawyer stated that he made him wait a while to file the lawsuit against the district to ensure he would have a good chance of winning. He said “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.”
Lellock was taken into custody shortly after the accusations. In 2013, he admitted to the crime and was sentenced to 32-to-64 years in prison.
[Image courtesy of Henry de Saussure/Flickr]