The Twelfth District Court of Appeals today has upheld a trial court's decision finding that a public school district is not liable for sex abuse of a student when, among other things, the abuse happens off of school grounds.
The case involves a minor student who participated in a special needs tutoring program. The tutoring was supposed to occur at the local library, but at some point started taking place at the tutor's house. The tutor and the student ended up engaging in sexual activity at her home. Subsequently, the tutor was criminally charged, pled guilty, and she served a six month prison sentence (as well as now being a registered sex offender).
Thereafter, the student filed suit against the school district. However, because the actions of the employee took place off of school grounds, and because the claim did not involve 'physical defects' of the school grounds, both the trial court and the appellate court were unwilling to find liability on the part of the school district.