LOWVILLE — A state Supreme Court lawsuit alleges that a former school teacher who also served as a church choir director sexually abused a teenager in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The suit names Lowville Academy and Central School District and its Board of Education as defendants, as well as Lowville United Methodist Church and church entities that had authority over the Lowville church.
According to the complaint, the school district employed a teacher identified in court documents as A. Ronald Johnson at what was formerly Lowville High School. The complaint further states that Mr. Johnson was choir director at Lowville United Methodist Church.
It is alleged that between about 1979 and 1981, Mr. Johnson sexually abused a male child, who is identified in documents only as AL500 Doe, when the youth was between the ages of 15 and 18. It is claimed that the abuse occurred both at the school and at the church.
The suit claims both the school and church breached their duties of care owed to the child by, among other things, promoting themselves as being safe for children and then failing to prevent the alleged abuse, as well by being negligent in their employment and supervision of Mr. Johnson.
The suit is brought pursuant to the New York Child Victim’s Act, which allows suits involving sexual offenses against minors that previously would have been time-barred under statutes of limitations to be revived. That act went into effect in August 2019.
The suit does not specify an amount being sought in damages.