The Riverhead School District immediately took “aggressive steps” as soon as officials learned of the allegations made by a student against the high school principal, according to a statement by schools superintendent Dr. Aurelia Henriquez, posted today on the district website.
A high school senior, Anastasia Stapon, 18, has accused the principal, Dr. Charles Regan, of grooming her for a sexual relationship over a period of a few months, then engaging in explicit sexting with her for a month before forcibly kissing her in his office at the high school on April 29.
The district immediately reassigned Regan to his home as it filed the legally mandated incident reports and commenced an investigation.
Regan has also been directed to remain off school property during the pendency of the investigation, Henriquez said.
“Since Dr. Regan is a tenured employee, the district does not have the right to unilaterally suspend him or terminate his services without the opportunity for a full due process hearing,” Henriquez wrote.
Stapon’s lawyer John Ray, in a press conference at his office yesterday, chastised the district for not immediately suspending Regan.
“Additionally, in accordance with legal mandates, the district completed the necessary child abuse forms, reported the information to the Riverhead Police Department, and a complaint was filed with the unit of the New York State Education Department that addresses allegations of moral turpitude,” Henriquez wrote.
“In short, the district promptly reported the allegations to all appropriate authorities.”
When Regan was hired in 2006 — which, Henriquez noted, “predates our current administration” — fingerprinting was conducted prior to his hiring, the superintendent said. She did not discuss the specific measures taken by the administration during Regan’s hiring process.
Stapon’s lawyer yesterday accused Regan of having “a history as a child seducer” at the school district where he was employed prior to being hired by Riverhead. He said he had already spoken to two victims and they would be coming forward.
“The district is legally obligated to conduct an investigation, and as this is a matter of personnel, we are limited in sharing specific details, but please be advised that the district takes this matter seriously and will continue to keep our students’ safety a top priority,” Henriquez wrote.
We need your help.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.