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The family of a boy with multiple disabilities is suing their local school district, claiming they didn't protect him from his former special education teacher who they say repeatedly raped him and gave him drugs.
Kathryn Houghtaling, 27, was sentenced in March to at least four years — and up to 15 years — in prison for having sexual relations with two teen boys while she was working as a special education teacher at Rochester High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Fox 2 Detroit reported. She had pleaded no contest in January to six counts of third-degree criminal conduct and one count of delivery of a controlled substance.
During her sentencing hearing, she took responsibility for victimizing the boys, aged 16 and 17, in December 2018; she was accused of having sex with one of the students in a car while other students watched, ClickonDetroit reported. She was arrested in January 2019.
The family of one of Houghtaling’s victims is now suing the Rochester School District for failing to protect their loved one. A civil complaint, filed on July 24 and obtained by the Detroit Free Press, claims that Houghtaling gave him Xanax and repeatedly raped him when he was 17. It also claims that she offered to take tests for him in exchange for sex.
"A former student at Rochester High School, who suffers from multiple disabilities, including but not limited to a learning disability and attention deficit disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, was repeatedly drugged and raped by his special education teacher, defendant Kathryn Houghtaling," lawyers Kirstina Magyari and Jonathan Marko wrote in that lawsuit.
The suit is seeking unspecified damages, claiming the victim has suffered pain and emotional distress. The suit adds that the victim was bullied after other students learned he was taken advantage of by Houghtaling. When the school alerted his parents that he was falling asleep in class, they took him to a hospital where Xanax was found in his system, according to the lawsuit.
The Rochester School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Oxygen.com.
At Houghtaling’s sentencing, she apologized for her criminal behavior.
“My actions have consequences that will affect me, my husband, my family, and friends,” she said. “I want to apologize to all the parties involved, specifically to my students. I know that my actions betrayed the duty and the responsibility I had as a teacher. I sincerely never intended for my relationship with them to cause them drama.”
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