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Chappaqua CSD Told Of Student Abuse in 2011, Didn't Report, Filing Claims

Horace Greeley High School Photo Credit: File photo
Christopher Schraufnagel and his attorney, Stacey Richman, are surrounded by a media scrum as they leave New Castle Justice Court in downtown Chappaqua. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- A legal filing submitted on behalf a new Horace Greeley High School student sex-abuse accuser claims that the Chappaqua Central School District was told in 2011 about an allegation involving drama teacher Christopher Schraufnagel and a student but failed to notify police.

The statement came from the plaintiff's mother in an affidavit. The latest plaintiff, who was a male drama student, is the sixth to seek civil litigation against the school district. Schraufnagel is named as a co-defendent in the case.

The mother, in her filing, states that she was informed about the previous allegation by Horace Greeley High School Principal Robert Rhodes at a June 2015 meeting, which took place as multiple abuse accusations came to light and triggered a criminal probe.

“Principal Rhodes also informed me that in 2011 there were accusations made about Mr. Schraufnagel similarly abusing a student at Greeley High School. I understand that rather than referring those allegations to the police department that the Chappaqua Central School District chose to keep it quiet and do their own investigation. We are not privy to the scope of that investigation or to the findings.”

The mother added that the district did not take any action against Schraufnagel from 2011 to 2015.

The school district does not comment on pending litigation, officials have previously said.

The latest student, whose filings were submitted to state Supreme Court on Aug. 16, is the sixth civil accuser. The filing includes a request for more time to file a notice of claim against the school district, which is a legal document announcing the intent to sue.

The mother alleges that her son suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse from Schraufnagel, and that it occurred during the 2014-15 school year.

Since May, three student accusers have commenced a lawsuit while two others are seeking to file their own. All cases provide pseudonyms for the plaintiffs, although the latest accuser's mother is also seeking to have her son's case sealed by a judge.

Schraufnagel, who taught in Chappaqua for 12 years, resigned last September and was criminally charged last October. He accepted a plea deal earlier this month, which calls for him to serve three years probation with monitoring similar to that of a sex offender. However, he would not have to register as a sex offender.

New Castle Town Justice Douglas Kraus has yet to accept the plea deal and is wondering why sex-offender registration is not part of it, according to The Journal News.

Previous coverage of Schraufnagel can be read here.

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