Woman Sues School Over Sexual Assault

May 21, 2008

Daniel Tepfer, Connecticut Post

BRIDGEPORT – A young Westport woman is suing school officials in that town, claiming not only did they fail to protect her from sexual assault by a Milford man, but allowed him to remain a high school teacher despite prior complaints.

In the lawsuit, filed in Superior Court here Tuesday, the woman, now 22, is seeking unspecified damages against the Westport Board of Education, its former school officials, Supt. Elliott Landon and Principal John Brady, as well as the former teacher, Peter Eramo Jr., of Milford.

Neither school nor town officials returned calls for comment on the lawsuit.

In October 2004, Eramo was arrested on a second-degree sexual assault charge after authorities said he had sex with the girl when she was a junior at Staples High School.

The criminal case against him is pending in Milford Superior Court. Eramo’s next court date on that case is June 9. He is free on $10,000 bond.

“This is a case where a parent gave a clear warning to the school about a predator and nothing was done,” said the woman’s lawyer. “Mr. Eramo was new to the school system and a new teacher, and clearly no one in the Westport school system was supervising him or protecting the students from him.”

According to police, in May 2003, Eramo, a theater teacher at Staples High School, brought the then-17-year-old female student to a jazz club in New York City and plied her with alcohol before driving her to his apartment near Walnut Beach. He then undressed her before having sex with her on his couch, police said.

Eramo subsequently went on to teach drama at Lindenhurst High School in Lindenhurst, N.Y.

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