School system reaches settlement in molestation case

The Richmond County School System has settled lawsuits filed by two molestation victims of a former janitor.

 

The lawsuits were settled Nov. 28, according to court documents filed in Richmond County Superior Court. Settlement details were not immediately available Tuesday afternoon.

According to previous Augusta Chronicle reports, the suit was filed in September 2016 naming the school system and members of its leadership of negligence in hiring and retaining Reginald Price, failing to report the victims’ statements that Price molested them, as required by law, and violation of the victims’ constitutional rights.

Price was fired from an Aiken County middle school in November 2011 where he was accused of fondling a student. He was arrested for assault and battery but the charges were dropped. Price was hired as a janitor with the Richmond County School System in January 2012. He failed to report the Aiken County charges when he applied for the job.

In March 2012, a student at Murphey Middle School reported to school officials that Price had molested her. According to the lawsuits, no one in the school system contacted the Department of Family and Children Services. School personnel are considered mandatory reporters of child abuse, which includes molestation.

A criminal background check on July 1, 2012 revealed Price’s arrest in Aiken County, but according to the lawsuits, Price was offered permanent employment by the school system July 30, 2012.

A C.T. Walker Tra­ditional Magnet School student reported in September 2013 that Price had fondled her. According to the lawsuits, no one in the school system contacted DFCS, however, the school system’s department of public safety did conduct an investigation, where the March 2012 complaint was discovered. Price was arrested in September 2013.

In July 2014, Price pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of sexual battery. He was sentenced to two years in prison followed by eight years on probation. He was released from prison in February 2016.

 

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