LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - A lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court says a man, who was both a Lowville school teacher and church choir director, sexually abused a student from 1979 to 1981.
Lowville Academy and Central School District and Lowville United Methodist Church are among the organizations being sued for an undisclosed sum.
According to the lawsuit, A. Ronald Johnson had sexual contact with a student at Lowville High School and at the church.
“He was a choir director, an organist at the church...He was a choir teacher at the school. We believe him to still be alive somewhere, we’re not exactly sure, somewhere in New York state. We will find all that information out through discovery,” said Jason Frament, an attorney for the plaintiff.
The sexual abuse allegedly took place between 1979 and 1981, beginning when the student was approximately 15 years old.
Frament said Johnson is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit because the attorneys want to hold the institutions accountable for allowing the sexual abuse to happen.
The lawsuit says the school and church should have known Johnson was a danger to children before he sexually molested the student.
“We do intend to prove those allegations, but we do have a good faith basis. Unfortunately, right now I can’t tell you what that basis is, but again, it’s all about holding these institutions accountable for what happened,” said Frament.
The legal action was taken under the New York Child Victim’s Act, which extends the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil cases.
7 News has reached out to the school district and church for comment. We’re continuing to try to reach Johnson. We’ll update this story if we hear from any of them or their lawyers.