The former principal and detention aide at Arthur J. Rooney Middle School won’t be held legally responsible for the sexual abuse committed by former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer Robert Lellock against a then-student in the late 1990s, a federal judge ruled today.
The former student had sued Lellock, former principal Ronald Zangaro and the then-detention aide, Lynn Meyers-Jeffrey. U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry granted Mr. Zangaro’s and Ms. Meyers-Jeffrey’s motions to dismiss, leaving the imprisoned Lellock in the case as a defendant, but essentially taking the school district out of the picture.
The man had claimed that the two officials knew, or should have known, that civil rights violations were afoot when Lellock pulled students out of their classrooms.
Judge McVerry, though, found no indication that the officials caused the violations, nor that they knew what was going on. He also rejected an argument that the principal failed to train staff adequately for scenarios like the one presented by Lellock.
Last year Lellock, 44, of Beltzhoover, was sentenced to 32 to 64 years in prison for abusing four students.
The Post-Gazette does not name victims of sexual abuse.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1542 or on Twitter @richelord.