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Boy’s family reaches tentative deal in Wilton schools child sex abuse case

August 30, 2022 

By J.D. Freda | Wilton Bulletin | WILTON, CT (August 28, 2022) — A settlement has tentatively been reached in a lawsuit against the town and Board of Education filed by a family claiming their preschooler was sexually abused and exploited in school by a former teacher’s aide.

The lawsuit is among three complaints filed against the town related to allegations involving former Miller-Driscoll School paraprofessional Eric Von Kohorn.

The tentative settlement is for a lawsuit filed in 2016 when the family of a then 4-year-old boy claimed Von Kohorn allegedly sexually exploited the child by taking photographs of him with his pants down in the bathroom during the 2013-14 school year.

“I can confirm that the Town of Wilton and the Doe family have reached an agreement in principle to settle claims arising from alleged sexual abuse and exploitation on school property of the preschool student by Eric Von Kohorn, a paraprofessional at the Miller-Driscoll School,” said Paul A. Slager, the attorney representing the family.

Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice also confirmed a settlement in principle, but added “there are many details to be resolved, including the probate court approval.”

Wilton BOE Chairwoman Deb Low did not return a request for comment.

Von Kohorn, who worked at Miller-Driscoll from 2007 to June 2014, was sentenced in 2015 to two years in prison after pleading guilty in an unrelated incident for second-degree possession of child pornography for having video files saved to his laptop depicting minors engaged in sexual activity. Von Kohorn is now serving 10 years of probation since his release in 2017, judicial records show.

One of the lawsuits involving Von Kohorn was settled in 2018 after a family claimed school officials were negligently responsible for allowing their 4-year old daughter to be sexually assaulted by her former preschool aide in January 2013.

In the lawsuit filed by the boy’s family, they argued the Wilton Board of Education and school staff should not have let Von Kohorn work closely with the child and take him into the school bathrooms alone because they knew of allegations involving the 4-year old girl the previous year.

According to the lawsuit, the preschool’s director received reports in January 2013 about Von Kohorn’s interactions with a female preschool student, who was also allegedly taken alone into a school bathroom, which violated school policy.

The lawsuit also claimed Von Kohorn was interviewed twice about the incident with the female student, in which he admitted he originally lied about taking her into the bathroom alone. The lawsuit argued proper steps were not taken to prevent Von Kohorn from working with Miller-Driscoll students after the 2013 allegations.

The tentative settlement amount was not disclosed.

Slager also represented the girl’s family that settled in 2018. Slager declined to share that settlement figure, but the family had earlier offered to settle the case for $4.2 million.

Earlier this year, Slager submitted an offer of compromise of $5 million to settle a third lawsuit against the town for alleged incidents involving Von Kohorn and another former Miller-Driscoll preschooler.

The complaint, filed in 2020, stated “Von Kohorn groomed, sexually exploited, abused, assaulted and injured,” the 4-year-old boy during the 2013-14 school year.

According to the complaint, the boy “suffered physical injuries and serious and permanent damages, as well as extensive permanent emotional and psychological injuries flowing directly from the physical injuries and abuse he suffered.”