An 18-year-old student is accusing Riverhead High School principal Charles Regan of sending her sexually explicit texts and photos before sexually assaulting her on school property

Note to readers: This story contains screenshots of explicit text messages.

An 18-year-old Riverhead High School student is accusing high school principal Charles Regan of sexually assaulting her in his office at the high school last week, as well as sending her sexually-charged texts and half-naked photographs of himself.

Anastasia Stapon, the victim, appeared teary-eyed beside her attorney John Ray today as he laid out her accusations against the principal in a $10 million lawsuit against the school district and board of education.

“Her principal who had been her mentor, her hero, is in fact just a pervert who used his power over her to ensnare her in his dirty sexual traps,” Ray read from a statement.

Anastasia Stapon is accusing Riverhead High School principal Charles Regan of sexually assaulting her. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Ray described Stapon as “a sitting target for a predator.” Adopted from Russia at age five, Stapon has suffered from “deep depression” throughout her senior year and turned to Regan for counseling, according to Ray.

“Pretending to counsel her, sexual deviant Regan deluded her into complete dependence upon him alone, isolating her from her family, friends and school counselor,” Ray said.

Since January, Regan, 48, has sent Stapon thousands of text messages, including photographs of himself undressed and sexually-charged videos, according to a notice of claim the attorney said was filed today with the school district.

Regan also met with Stapon several times per day in his office with the door closed, up to 45 minutes per meeting, according to the notice of claim.

Months of text messages, photographs and private meetings in Regan’s office came to a head last Monday, when Stapon says Regan sexually assaulted her in his office.

“He pulled her by her neck into his embrace and shoved his tongue into her mouth,” Ray said. “She was dazed, overwhelmed and helpless.”

Ray also provided copies of text messages that appear to show Regan describing the sexual relationship he wanted to have with her.

“I don’t want you to think I’m waiting for the right time to attack you in my office. I’m just acknowledging the energy I feel when I’m with you.”

“It’s beyond sexual. I feel we have a passion for each other […] Our relationship long term is very important to me / us I think. And a night of record breaking sex would f**k that up.”

Regan also sent Stapon several photographs of himself in various states of undress, including one with a towel draped between his legs and one where Regan is shirtless, according to the claim. Both of these photographs were displayed at the press conference.

He later instructed her to erase the texts, according to the document. Ray provided messages where Regan appears to insist that Stapon communicate with him through an app where he can hide the notifications on his phone:

“Delete the other chat thread.”
“We’ll use this from now on.”
“I have all the notification turned off so sh*t doesn’t pop on my screen like a reg text.”
“Plus some of that was too heavy for work email.”

In the text messages, Regan also appears to threaten to kill two other male students who were interested in her: “If he f*cks with MY ANASTASIA I’ll dead ass lose my job and kill him.”

Regan did “everything he could” to isolate Stapon from her friends and family, according to Ray. Screenshots of text message conversations appear to show Regan instructing her to come to him with her problems instead of her school-provided counselor: “I’ll be your counselor.”

Ray alleges in the notice of claim that Regan had a “history as a pervert and child seducer” in his former job at Eastport South Manor School District before he was hired as an assistant principal at Riverhead High School in 2006.

Following the alleged assault on Monday, April 29, Stapon and her parents went to Riverhead Police Department but were told they were unable to press charges, according to Ray. He said that police informed them that, because Stapon was 18 years old at the time of the incident, no crime was committed.

Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said the matter was under investigation.

Ray said he believes the incident constitutes harassment in the second degree, sexual abuse in the third degree and unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. He said he plans to go to both the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and the United States Attorney’s office to ask them to investigate further.

Anastasia Stapon appeared at a press conference today alongside her attorney, John Ray, and her mothers, Theresa Stapon and Maryann Wojcik. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Regan was administratively reassigned by the school district last week for a “personnel investigation,” the district said in a statement from the superintendent.

The school district through a spokesperson this morning said it would have no further comment. In its published statement last week, the district said it was “legally prohibited from sharing further details on the investigation.”

Regan did not respond to voice and text messages seeking comment.

This story was reported by Denise Civiletti and written by Katie Blasl.

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Katie Morosky
Katie, winner of the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year award from the L.I. Press Club, is a co-publisher of RiverheadLOCAL. A Riverhead native, she is a 2014 graduate of Stony Brook University. Email Katie