Sexual abuse settlements of four lawsuits totalled more than $5.6 million last year in Freeburg School District 70. Freeburg is located in Southwestern Illinois.
The sexual abuse allegations pertained to alleged incidents involving former Superintendent Robin Hawkins.
Details on these four settlements, and the underlying sexual abuse allegations, are contained in the February 22, 2014 Belleville News Democrat article titled “Freeburg School District 70 to pay more than $5.6 million to settle sex abuse cases.”
Two excerpts from the article:
Four former elementary school students alleged they were sexually abused by former Freeburg School District 70 Superintendent Robin Hawkins and the district knew but did nothing to stop it.
The four cases settled last year for payments worth more than $5.6 million.
After Hawkins’ death, some Freeburg residents rallied behind Hawkins, Weilmuenster said, vilifying the victim. That’s when other victims came forward.
That’s not uncommon, said McGrath, who also trains schools on how to avoid sex abuse litigation.
“It’s not unusual for people to bury (these kinds of allegations) and protect the adults,” McGrath said. “These are professional people with reputations, families and are respected in the community. The perpetrators know this and play that advantage. They also pick victims because they are in some way marginalized. They are poor or they come from single-parent families or they have behavioral issues. They pick these kinds of victims because they are easy to discredit.”
Additional details regarding these alleged sexual abuse claims, as well as details regarding the lawsuit settlements, can be found in the BND.com article mentioned above, as well as the February 23, 2014 whbf.com article titled “Report: Freeburg schools settles sex-abuse claims.”