By Daniel Tepfer, CT Post, STAMFORD, CT (May 22, 2018) — The town of Wilton and the Wilton Board of Education agreed Tuesday to pay a settlement to the parents of a 4-year-old girl who had filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit claiming school officials were negligently responsible for allowing their daughter to be sexually assaulted by her former preschool aide.
“The family is satisfied that the settlement reflects a recognition by the town of the seriousness of what happened and that something should have been done to prevent it,” said their lawyer, Paul Slager.
He declined to give the settlement figure but the family had earlier offered to settle the case for $4.2 million.
In the lawsuit filed in Superior Court here, the parents, named in the suit as Mother and Father Doe, claimed school officials did not properly take action either to prevent the aide, Eric Von Kohorn, from assaulting their daughter and did not properly report the alleged assault as required by law.
On Oct. 23, 2015, the 57-year-old Von Kohorn was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty in Bridgeport Superior Court to possessing more than 100 images of child pornography on his computer.
Von Kohorn, of Harbor Road in the Southport section of Fairfield, worked as an aide at the Miller-Driscoll School in Wilton from 2007 to June 2014. The suit alleges Von Kohorn sexually assaulted the preschool student in a school bathroom during the 2012-13 school year.
The lawsuit alleges that in January 2013 Von Kohorn “inappropriately touched, sexually assaulted and battered” the then 4-year-old Miller-Driscoll School preschool student during the school day in a school bathroom causing visible injury to her genital area. It further claims the girl’s parents informed Miller-Driscoll Principal, Dr. Fred Rapczynski, of their daughter’s visible physical injuries in January 2013 and that Dr. Rapczynski violated his legal obligation to report the allegation to state Department of Children and Families within 12 hours, instead waiting four days before making the legally mandated report.
The suit continues that Rapczynski submitted a signed report to DCF indicating Von Kohorn admitted taking the girl to the bathroom, but then separately informed the girl’s parents that his investigation concluded just the opposite: that Von Kohorn had never taken the girl to the bathroom at all. Based on Rapcynski’s false representations, the suit alleges, the girl’s parents permitted the student to have further contact with Von Kohorn, which caused her additional trauma.
Slager said a second lawsuit on behalf of another family claiming abuse by Von Kohorn is pending.