Solicitation Charges Against High School Teacher Shock Small Connecticut Town

February 11, 2015 by David S. Seltzer

If you or someone you love faces charges of soliciting a minor for sex or engaging in cybercrime activity, this heartbreaking case out of Connecticut may resonate with you.

A former student has filed a lawsuit against a local high school Spanish teacher for sexual harassment in the small town of Simsbury. The student wants $15,000 in damages. The teacher, Mark Cohan, who has been suspended since July 9, 2014, faces several disturbing allegations of misconduct and criminal behavior, according to the local paper, the Hartford Courant.

An ongoing investigation led to Cohan’s arrest on July 30, when authorities “charged [Cohan] with disorderly conduct and second-degree sexual harassment,” according to the Courant. The media has not named the student filing the suit, due to the nature of the allegations. Michael Reilly, an attorney representing the student, told reporters: “Mark Cohan abused his position of trust as a teacher at Simsbury High School to stalk, intimidate, exploit, [and] sexually harass [the youth].”

The lawsuit includes allegations that Cohan used a “friend” status on Facebook to send overtly sexual messages to male students. The student also accuses the teacher of sending him excessive messages, as well as texting, calling, and making him stay after school. Cohan allegedly used several inappropriate tactics with the student, including having him sleep over and drink hard liquor. The student says that, after he slept over at his teacher’s house, he awoke without a clear memory of the night before, with vomit all over him and his zipper down.

Stories like these can be devastating for victims and can spark understandable public ire. But what happens when those wrongly charged with sexual misconduct and cybercrimes find themselves having to defend against compelling (but ultimately wrong or baseless or invented) stories? Those who are inaccurately charged may face stigma and have difficulty securing employment, even if they succeed in getting exonerated.

Florida has particularly tough sex crimes laws; if convicted of similar charges, you will need to register on a national sex offender registration list, and you may face a battery of other punishments, including jail time.

If you face an investigation, or if you’ve been charged with a sex crime you didn’t commit, seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible.

Do you need help responding to federal cybercrime or solicitation charges? Call an experienced Miami cybercrimes attorney with Seltzer Law, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation. Call anytime at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).