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Sexual Abuse Victim Sues Springfield's Academy Of Arts And Academics


A former student of Springfield’s Academy of Arts and Academics who was sexually abused by its late principal is suing the school district. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

The victim has shared a decade-long history of grooming, stalking, and sexual abuse to police investigators. A3 Principal Mike Fisher was put on administrative leave January 31st when the allegations surfaced. He killed himself and was found dead in his garage the next day.

Credit Rachael McDonald / KLCC
2017 file photo of Mike Fisher.

In a tort claim notice sent to Springfield Schools, attorney Barbara Long of Portland says employees knew of inappropriate contact between Fisher and the girl as early as 2007.

“The school and school district knew everything that they needed to know to stop the abuse by Mr. Fisher and they didn’t do anything, and completely dropped the ball," Long tells KLCC.  "And so she’s seeking some justice.”

The victim has said until police contacted her this year, she kept Fisher’s abuse to herself.  Long says her client wants to sue for the maximum damage allowed under Oregon law.

The Springfield School District did not respond to a request for comment in time for this story.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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