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Were you or a loved one abused by a teacher in the Hamburg, Pennsylvania School District?
Holly Anne Smith, a high school teacher, has been accused of conducting an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student. Our experienced PA sex abuse lawyers believe that other sexual abuse survivors may have yet to step forward.
Are you the parent of a child who was abused by a teacher? Do you suspect that your child was entangled in a sexual relationship with a teacher for the Hamburg School District? We understand how difficult this time must be for you.
Sexual abuse can raise a storm of powerful emotions. Shock, anger, fear, grief, shame – these are all natural reactions to a terrible trauma. Just know that this was not your fault. You are not to blame. You did nothing wrong.
School districts that enable or allow sexual misconduct to occur must be held accountable. While Holly Anne Smith is now facing criminal charges for her alleged misconduct, it’s unlikely that any such criminal action will be filed against the Hamburg School District. Parents and victims, however, can stand up for justice by filing a civil lawsuit.
You have powerful legal options. Some sexual abuse survivors may be eligible to seek financial compensation by filing a lawsuit. We believe you, and we believe your child’s voice deserves to be heard.
You are not alone. Our dedicated PA sex assault lawyers is here to help. Learn more about your legal options in a free, confidential consultation today. Find more information about your family’s rights at no cost and no obligation.
A high school English teacher in Hamburg, Pennsylvania is facing felony charges for maintaining an intimate relationship with a male student. Holly Anne Smith, 47, has been charged for institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor and endangering the welfare of children. It is alleged that she was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student for at least three months.
Reports suggest that Smith has admitted to having the relationship. Officials for the Berks County District Attorney’s Office’s Child Abuse Unit received notice of a possible relationship between a student and a teacher in the Hamburg School District on September 13, 2018.
During the ensuing investigation, law enforcement spoke with the student’s parents, who showed them phone messages and social media activity that suggested an intimate relationship between the boy and Smith. The parents then arranged a meeting with Smith at a public park, during which the teacher cried, apologized and confessed to the relationship.
In a forensic interview with the Children’s Alliance Center, the student disclosed the relationship, saying that he met Smith when he enrolled in the Hamburg School District. Police say Smith was his Spanish teacher.
There is some dispute as to how long the relationship has lasted. Smith says that the relationship went for three months, while the student says five months.
Hamburg School District Superintendent Dr. Richard Mextorf insists that no inappropriate activity occurred on school property. Interviewed by WFMZ, Mextorf said, “what I can confirm is, according to law enforcement, they have no evidence that this happened at school.” Mextorf provided the following statement:
“The charges stemming from this incident are tragic. My heart goes out to the victim, the victim’s family and the children of the accused. No child should ever have to go through this. The district has been cooperated with law enforcement since day one and acted swiftly to ensure the victim was out of harm’s way. Immediately upon learning of the incident, the district placed Smith on administrative leave, banned her from all campuses and forbid her to represent the district in any way. The district also confiscated all of her district-issued electronic devices and suspended her district email accounts. Smith has been suspended without pay.”
Smith is being represented by legal counsel. Detectives for the Hamburg police and her attorney are “making arrangements” for Smith to turn herself in, WFMZ writes. She was scheduled to be arraigned on October 9, 2018. Smith is reportedly a resident of Windsor Township.