Teacher Indicted on 13 Counts of Sexual Abuse Faces More Claims
The former teacher’s abuse allegations date back to the mid-1990s and include claims from students in Utah, Montana and New Mexico.
A former elementary school teacher, who is currently being held on 13 felony counts of sexual abuse, is now facing a lawsuit from three additional families who allege he sexually abused their young daughters.
Gary Gregor, 61, a former teacher at several elementary schools across the country, has now been accused of sexually abusing a total of five female students.
A lawsuit filed in 2014 by a former student at Española Fairview Elementary in Española, N.M., was settled outside of court last year for $3.2 million, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. The other suit was settled earlier this year for an undisclosed amount.
In each lawsuit against Gregor, former students say he abused them physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally.
Most of the girls are now in their late teens but the alleged abuse happened when they were under 10 years old, reports KRQE.
All three suits allege that while Gregor was a teacher at Fairview from 2006 to 2009, he forced the girls to sit on his lap or near him while he fondled them. They also allege he would “nap” on the floor with them and rub his body against theirs.
Albuquerque Attorney Cammie Nichols says Gregor would give the students gifts and call them at home to invite them to his house.
“Things that raise red flags for parents but they never had any idea of the extent of what was actually happening to their daughters, at the time,” says Nichols.
Gregor was indicted by a grand jury in May on 13 felony counts of sexual abuse. He is currently being held at the Rio Arriba County jail on a $75,000 cash-only bond.
The lawsuits aren’t the only allegations against Gregor during his teaching career. In the mid-1990s, Gregor faced multiple allegations of abuse in Utah and Montana. Despite the allegations, Gregor continued to teach for 15 years.
Nichols says Gregor should have never been hired by the Española School District.
“He had serious allegations in Utah. Those allegations were investigated and there was a reprimand issued and those records are available,” says Nichols. “The school district should be checking PED records to see if anything comes up on their teachers, but that doesn’t necessarily happen.”
Gregor resigned from Agua Fría Elementary School in Santa Fe in 2004 after facing the threat of dismissal following his behavior toward female students on a field trip.
Another family filed a police report in 2009 alleging Gregor had abused their daughter in 2004.
Following that complaint, the Española school district placed Gregor on administrative leave. In 2010, the state Public Education Department did not renew his teaching license.
“We have a system right now that favors employment rights over students’ safety rights,” says Attorney General Hector Balderas, who is handling the case. “It’s a real wake-up call for the country.”
The newest lawsuit names Española Public Schools and former Fairview principal Ruby Montoya as co-defendants.
“The tragedy is, this abuse of these students at Fairview Elementary took place over the course of three years, and during that time, there was a lot of opportunity for the principal to intervene and for all of this to have been stopped in its tracks,” says Nichols. “The fact that it wasn’t is such a huge injustice to all the young women who are abused as little girls.”
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