A civil suit was filed on Wednesday afternoon in Kings County Supreme Court against the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and former teacher Erin Sayar for their alleged role in the sexual assault and battery of high school student Kevin Eng.
The suit, brought by Brooklyn attorney Bruce Baron on behalf of his clients Kevin Eng and his mother, Maureen Eng, alleges that the City of New York in general and the DOE in particular were negligent in hiring Sayar, and that they failed to report or investigate allegations of sexual abuse.
In May 2012, Erin Sayar, 36, a former English teacher at James Madison High School in Marine Park, was accused of sexually assaulting her student Eng. Sayar subsequently turned herself in to Brooklyn’s Special Victims Unit on the eight criminal counts of statutory rape, 16 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and other related charges. She was released on $10,000 bail.
After the criminal charges were filed, attorney Baron filed notice that his clients would be suing Sayar and the city for $10 million in monetary damages. In his notice of claim, Baron stated that Sayar had sex with Eng numerous times when she was supposed to be tutoring the 16-year old student.
As reported in a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article, Eng’s girlfriend became suspicious and broke into his Facebook account, where she discovered intimate conversations between Eng and Sayar. The conversations were later printed and sent to school officials.
The recent civil lawsuit asserts that the city and the DOE were negligent not only in hiring Sayar but also in retaining Sayar as a high school teacher after being notified of the relationship between her and Eng. It is unclear from the lawsuit exactly when Sayar should have been removed from her teaching duties, since Sayar was eventually removed from the classroom after the school was notified for the illicit relationship.
The Eagle attempted to contact James Madison High School for this article and was informed that Ms. Sayar is no longer employed at the school.
Eng claims that he and Sayar engaged in sex on “approximately eight occasions, and that two [of] those occasions were during school hours and on school grounds.”
Eng and his mother are seeking monetary relief for the damages they claim to have endured as a result of the humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional distress this sex scandal has brought. The suit also asks for punitive damages against Sayar and the Department of Education.