Weehawken BOE OKs $700k settlement for ex-student who alleged 1979 sexual assault


The Weehawken Board of Education approved a $700,000 settlement for a former student who alleged he was sexually assault by a teacher back in 1979.

80 Hauxhurst Ave. in Weehawken, the site of the former Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The settlement, approved by the board on May 23rd and published by Transparency NJ last week, indicates that $500,000 was to be paid within 30 days of the agreement being finalized, and the remaining $200,000 by July 15th, 2024.

“The Plaintiff was a 14 year old, eighth grade student at the Defendants’ school,
Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, when the sexual abuse by his assigned art teacher, Janis Tepe, began. The abuse did not cease until in or about October of 1979,” the lawsuit, filed in September 2020, says.

“Plaintiff is proceeding anonymously under N.J.S.A. 2A:61B-1(f) to protect his
identity in light of the sensitive and highly personal nature of the allegations in this case, and can be served through his counsel of record.”

The student, identified only as PC-19 and now 58 years old and living in California, alleged violations of the state’s child sexual abuse act, negligence, negligent, hiring, training, retention, supervision, and direction, as well as negligent infliction of emotional distress and premises liability.

The settlement indicates that there is no liability and/or admission of wrongdoing on the part of the school district, where officials declined to comment.

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