Former Cretin-Derham Hall student sexually abused by teacher sues school


A former Cretin-Derham Hall student who was sexually abused by a teacher during his junior year is now suing the St. Paul Catholic high school, claiming the administration didn't do enough to protect him, WCCO reports.

In 2011, Gail Gagne agreed to be found guilty on a gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge for having sex with a 16-year-old student three years prior, the Pioneer Press reported.

That 16-year-old is now 22, and publicly identifying himself as the victim for the first time.

Cameron Clarkson told FOX 9 about how he and the then-25-year-old student weight room supervisor Gagne became close; starting with going out to lunch and becoming Facebook friends, up through sneaking around and having physical encounters, he says.

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The abuse went on for two months he says, and when he went back to school in the fall for his senior year, he was the subject of ridicule – someone put peanut butter all over his car before the opening day of football practice he says, a substance he is severely allergic to. Gagne's name was also bleached into his lawn, WCCO reports.

Now a college senior at Howard University ("I had to get away" from Minnesota, he told FOX 9), Clarkson will take Cretin-Derham Hall to court Dec. 1. since the sides couldn't reach a settlement, WCCO says.

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Clarkson told FOX 9 he believes the school thinks a jury won't side with him, since he doesn't "look like" a victim of sexual abuse.

A statement to the station from a school attorney says Clarkson didn't tell the school about the encounters for months, and "bragged" to classmates about his experience. In addition, the attorney says the school took immediate action against Gagne once they found out.

Gagne received a stayed sentence of one year in jail as part of the plea agreement, and was barred from teaching again, the Star Tribune reported. She was also required to register as a sex offender.

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