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Former Greeley Teacher's Sex-Abuse Student Accuser Seeks To Sue District

Christopher Schraufnagel walks out of New Castle Justice Court in Chappaqua following his appearance on July 14, 2016.
Christopher Schraufnagel walks out of New Castle Justice Court in Chappaqua following his appearance on July 14, 2016. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- One of former Horace Greeley High School drama teacher Christopher Schraufnagel's criminal sex-abuse student accusers is seeking to sue the Chappaqua Central School District. 

The male student, now 16, is the fifth accuser to pursue litigation against the district.

A legal request, filed with the state Supreme Court on July 20, requests permission from a judge to waive a statute of limitations against filing a notice of claim against the district. A copy of the request can be read here.

A notice of claim is a procedural document that, according to state law, must be filed as a prelude to suing governmental entities. For privacy reasons, the student is known only by the initials of "J.L." His mother is listed as a co-plaintiff, while Schraufnagel is listed as a co-defendant.

The legal request alleges that the district either knew or should have known about Schraufnagel's conduct. It also accuses Schraufnagel of kissing and fondling J.L., also with use of what were called "games."

The accuser's mother, in an affidavit filed with the request, stated that he, along with a recent Greeley graduate, reported the sex-abuse allegations to his parents on June 11, 2015. J.L. also reported the matter to then-Assistant Principal Andrew Corsilia, according to a letter to his parents from Chappaqua Schools Superintendent Lyn McKay.

A copy of the affidavit, which includes McKay's letter and other district records, can be read here.

The mother also states that her son suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had to receive therapy. She also confirmed, in the documentation, that her son is a criminal-case accuser.

McKay, whose letter was dated June 16, 2015, informed the student's parents that she would be reporting the matter to the state education commissioner. and "law enforcement authorities." The superintendent also reached the family by phone on June 12, 2015 to note her plans to report the matter through the proper channels, the mother's statement adds.

J.L.'s parents were contacted by New Castle Police on June 22, 2015, the mother adds.

Schraufnagel, who resigned from his job last September and was charged the following month, has three criminal accuser. He is scheduled to return to New Castle Justice Court on Aug. 4; a plea deal has been floated as a possibility by the Westchester County District Attorney's office.

Three other accusers filed a lawsuit against the district and Schraufnagel in May, while a fourth is seeking to move forward with a suit but has to go through the same legal path as J.L. The four aforementioned accusers have a different attorney than J.L.

The school board does not comment on pending litigation, officials have previously stated.

Schraufnagel is accused of fondling, engaging in oral-sexual contact, demanding to see student genatalia, and in sharing drugs and alcohol. Court documents filed on behalf of the other accusers also allege that Schraufnagel exposed students to a cup containing feces, a bottle with sperm and cake baked with pubic hair. 

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