A lawsuit is seeking $25 million in damages and alleges that a former Barrington Middle School teacher sexually abused a special education student on over 30 occasions in the early 2000s.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Cook County court by the Blake Horwitz Law Firm, said that the plaintiff, John Doe, was born in 1990 and attended Barrington Middle School’s Prairie Campus, located at 40 East Dundee Road, between 2001 and 2004.
The lawsuit alleges that former Barrington Middle School teacher Susan Maylahn, who died in 2014, sexually abused the student on over thirty occasions while she was employed by Barrington Community Unit School District 220.
The abuse allegedly occurred between 2002 and 2004 when the student, who suffered from dyslexia and cerebral auditory processing disorder, was 12 to 14 years old.
The lawsuit said that Maylahn was the student’s case manager during the 2001-2002 school year while the boy was in sixth grade. When the student was in seventh and eighth grade, Maylahn was the student’s classroom teacher.
The lawsuit alleges the abuse included showing the boy pornography, genital touching, and intercourse. The suit also alleges that Maylahn groomed the student prior to abusing him and each occasion of abuse took place at Barrington Middle School Prairie Campus.
“At least one other school employee was aware of Maylahn’s abuse of Doe. Additionally, Doe’s parents complained to school officials that Doe’s behavior had changed, and he was afraid and anxious to go to school,” the former student’s attorney Blake Horwitz said in a statement.
The student’s parents attributed his behavior to Maylahn and asked that their son be moved out of Maylahn’s classroom, Horwitz said. No action was taken by the school district.
“John Doe still lives with the effects of the terrible abuse he suffered at the hands of a predatory teacher,” Horwitz said, adding that their law firm hopes other victims will come forward.
District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris told the Daily Herald that the district had not been served with the lawsuit yet and could not comment on it.