Farmington teacher accused of grooming and harassing students dating back to 2005

Seven of eight women are speaking up after they said they were a victim to a current Farmington high school teacher who accused of sexually assaulting and harassing students in a separate district.

The accusers came out with their claims on social media and, through their attorneys, said they were groomed, got special treatment, and were told to download apps like Snapchat that would delete evidence of abuse and harassment. 

Emalee Forrester was one of those women. She claims she was groomed, sexually harassed, and sexually assaulted by a former teacher in the Clarenceville School District when she was in high school.

"Sexual comments and inappropriate sexual touching became a part of my everyday school routine," she said. "I was 15 years old when the sexual comments started. Everything continued into my junior year. When I was 16 and 17 years old, things only got worse." 

She's one of eight accusing the Farmington public school teacher of sexual harassment and sexual abuse between 2005 and 2018, Most were students in the Clarenceville middle or high school at the time.

The allegations they made, as discussed by attorney Elaina Bailey, were described as 'sickening.'

"He would send these young girls naked pictures of his penis and videos of him masturbating. Others were sexually assaulted when they were minors." Bailey said.

Attorneys claim at least 3 teens came forward to Clarenceville School District staff about these allegations but they fell on deaf ears.

"The principal of the high school was told by a student there that (the teacher)  was making sexually inappropriate comments to her touching his genitals with such great frequency that it was making her feel uncomfortable, sometimes he would have an erection in his pants at the time. In response to the students' report, she was told she had a crush on her teacher and men adjust themselves a lot," said attorney Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller about an incident in 2009.

Attorneys also say in 2005 a secretary and teacher at Troy Athens High School were told there was a sexual relationship between a then-16-year-old student at the school and this same teacher but nothing was done.

"The conduct was not reported to authorities, no internal investigation was done and she was told to keep quiet." said Esser-Weidenfeller.

But the Troy School District says the teacher was never employed there and released this statement:

"We have immense sympathy for any victim of sexual assault, but have no information regarding what was alleged at a press conference today. The individual in question never worked for the Troy School District as a teacher or in any capacity, nor do we have any record of any student coming forward with allegations or concerns to any school official or to the District. We are aware that he graduated from one of our high schools in 1996 and came back to participate in at least two productions as an alumnus, but he was never in a position of authority or charged with supervision of students. We contacted Troy Police, who tell us they have no active case involving this individual. We take any allegation of this nature very seriously and have indicated our willingness to fully cooperate with police should any case develop."

Clarenceville made no additional comments to FOX 2 Wednesday but previously said "it followed its established policies and worked with the appropriate authorities."

Attorneys have yet to file a civil lawsuit against the teacher or school districts and there have been charges filed against the teacher. He was been placed on administrative leave by the Farmington Public School District.