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A former Wisconsin teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student in computer class more than two decades ago has a “dark side,” according to a prosecutor in the case.
Jason LaVigne, who once taught at the Little Chute High School, is on trial in Outagamie County for repeatedly sexually assaulting a student who was 14-years old at the time and is also facing charges in another county for the sexual assault of a 16-year-old, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent.
The trial in Outagamie began Tuesday as Assistant District Attorney Patrick Leigl told jurors that what they were about to hear wasn’t “going to be pleasant.”
The prosecution has alleged that LaVigne rubbed his penis against a 14-year-old student during a keyboarding class. The allegations wouldn’t surface for 10 years when the former student involved emailed one of the school’s counselors in 2009 to report the abuse.
It would be nearly another decade before charges were filed after the school district’s superintendent David Botz said in a 2009 report that he didn’t believe there was enough evidence to conclude the teacher had acted inappropriately.
Botz didn’t contact police or report the suspected abuse to child protective services, despite a law in the state that requires school employees to report any suspected abuse.
But law enforcement officials would learn of incident in June 2018 after they requested to see LaVigne’s school personnel file as part of the investigation into claims the former teacher had sexually assaulted another 16-year-old girl in a separate case.
In that case, out of Marinette County, LaVigne is facing third-degree sexual assault charges after a 16-year-old friend of his daughter accused him of plying her with alcohol during a pontoon trip in the summer of 2018 on a lake and then sexually assaulting her on a sandy beach despite her protests, according to WLUK.
The victim in that case said she believed she had four vodka lemonades before the assault and said that LaVigne’s daughter, who had also been along on the boat ride, had either passed out or was sleeping during the time of the assault.
It was during the Marinette County investigations that authorities discovered the allegations of abuse dating back several decades and Outagamie County decided to pursue the case, charging him for the alleged assault.
As the trial got underway this week, the alleged victim took the stand telling jurors that after LaVigne had allegedly rubbed his penis against her, he asked her to meet him after class one day and showed her a message on a computer that apologized for his actions and promised not to do it again. She said the incident left her “very shaken,” according to the local paper.
LaVigne’s defense attorney Frank Stupack has argued, however, that the accusations against his client are “absurd” and “ridiculous.”
“It just doesn’t make any sense,” he told the jury during his opening statements in the trial.
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