Despite April Being Child Abuse Prevention Month, Michigan Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Sexual Assault Case

Ven Johnson Law via Iosco County News-Herald

April 23, 2020

Detroit – Earlier this week, the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in a negligence lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids (Catholic Diocese). The lawsuit accuses the Catholic Diocese of negligence in the sexual abuse of a then 15-year-old male student, Brandon Bowman, who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by his then 34-year-old female teacher, Abigail Simon.

Over three months in 2013, Simon sexually assaulted Bowman on multiple occasions. Simon was assigned by her employer, Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School/Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, to tutor Bowman in order for him to remain eligible to play high school sports. Later that year, Simon was arrested for criminal sexual conduct (CSC), stood trial in 2014, and was convicted of CSC and sentenced to eight to 25 years in prison, a sentence she is currently serving.

In 2015, Bowman filed a civil suit against the Catholic Diocese and claimed it responsible for the assaults due to the negligent hiring of Simon and in the lack of appropriate supervising of her.

Discovery in the civil lawsuit uncovered that multiple teachers and administrators expressed concerns about Simon’s behavior with young men who she was tutoring. One teacher reported the following statements to the school principal.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.