Hi - I’m Jeff. I am a licensed sexual abuse attorney in Indiana. If you or someone you know were sexually harassed or otherwise abused by a teacher at school, we want to help you fight for your rights and obtain justice.
Contact us now for a free, confidential consultation. You may also contact us regarding any questions you may have about your legal options.
Andrew Cowells, a 47-year-old former teacher at Concord High School in Elkhart, Indiana, is now facing 18 individual sex crimes charges. They are 13 felony charges and 5 misdemeanors, including:
The charges come almost two months after Cowells was first placed on leave when students reported that he had made comments of a sexual nature during class. It is also alleged that, during that same class period, he asked a student to "touch his groin." Later that day, the former Concord High teacher was reported to have entered the boy's restroom and looked over a bathroom stall as students urinated.
The above are only some of the allegations which led to the charges, though these initial claims were enough grounds for a search warrant to be issued for Cowell's cellphone, at which point authorities encountered numerous pictures of children nude, as well as teenagers committing sexual acts. The Concord School District indicated that the child pornography was not of students belonging to their district.
Dan Funston, the Concord Community School District Superintendent, expressed his concern in a statement:
“Any action or failure to act to protect the well-being of our students will not be tolerated. As a Concord parent myself this is personal, the well-being of our students is our most important responsibility.
Additionally, three other teachers were also placed on leave soon after the first reports of Cowell's behavior came to light, though no further information regarding their identities nor criminal charges have been made public. It has been widely reported that search warrants were also issued in order to obtain their personal cell phones.
Andrew Cowell is now facing criminal charges after numerous students were brave enough to step forward to tell their experiences. It is now in the hands of the Indiana criminal justice system to decide whether he is guilty and, if so, what his punishment should be.
Yet, while the criminal justice system may be efficient at putting sex crime perpetrators behind bars, it can often forget about helping the victims themselves to heal from the trauma they've experienced. The emotions felt by victims can be powerful, if not life-altering. Therapy can help, though the process of healing is one that simply cannot be "hurried along."
Fortunately, victims and their loved ones have additional legal recourses they can take in search of justice. By filing a civil suit, victims of teacher sexual abuse and harassment can pursue substantial financial reimbursement to support their recovery.
As a rule, juries sympathetic towards victims of sex crimes often award hefty financial compensation in civil trials. As a result, the perpetrators and/or the organizations who employ them may sometimes choose to settle rather than have their case tried, as such a process can be lengthy and garner much negative attention.
Prior to the resolution of a sexual assault lawsuit, no one can predict what a settlement or verdict will be worth. It's critical to thoroughly evaluate each case before estimating its worth with any degree of accuracy. Despite this, value estimations are rarely reliable. During your initial consultation, anyone who claims to be able to place a value on the case is likely being dishonest.
The team of experienced attorneys at Abuse Guardian wants to be there with you when you step forward. No matter if you need our help with a civil lawsuit or just to simply talk, our team is here for you.
Victims of abuse must endure the physical and psychological trauma of abuse, even after perpetrators are convicted of a crime. Our goal is to help you and your family find the support and resources that you deserve after your traumatic experience.