A lawsuit has been filed against the Broward County School board amid allegations of past sexual abuse by a teacher who was fired after his recent arrest for allegedly inappropriately touching a 10-year-old girl at a summer camp.
The lawsuit filed Friday alleges that Christopher Falzone sexually harassed an 8-year-old girl in 2012 when he was a substitute teacher for her second grade class at Sheridan Elementary School in Hollywood.
Falzone began "openly grooming and sexually harassing" the victim, referred to as "Jane Doe," by "rubbing her back, hugging her and engaging in other inappropriate forms of touching," the lawsuit reads. In 2013, when the victim was nine, Falzone sexually assaulted her by touching her buttocks and fondling her, the lawsuit claims.
The suit claims Falzone also touched and sexually harassed other female students, sometimes in front of the principal. He was fired from the school in 2013 after the young victim reported the inappropriate touching, the suit said.
The lawsuit, filed by attorney Jeffrey Herman, claims the school board "knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known that Falzone was dangerous and a threat to the health, safety and welfare of female students, including Jane."
Falzone, 35, taught third grade at Renaissance Charter School at Cooper City but was fired this week after his arrest on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior for allegedly inappropriately touching a 10-year-old girl while working as a counselor at Camp Live Oak in Fort Lauderdale.
"At Renaissance Charter School at Cooper City, our highest priority is providing a safe and secure environment for our students," a spokesperson for the school said in a statement. "In light of allegations and the arrest of Christopher Falzone regarding activities that occurred over the summer at a summer camp, Mr. Falzone is no longer employed at our school."
Falzone was booked into jail and later released on bond. He refused to speak with reporters as he left jail.