Lawsuits filed claiming sexual abuse at Rogers School in Stamford
STAMFORD – Two former students have filed lawsuits saying they were molested by a physical education teacher at Rogers School in the 1970’s.
The separate lawsuits allege that Robert Martinez would call the plaintiffs into his private office after class and molest them. The suit also alleges that Edward Mathews, Principal of Rogers School, and the Stamford Board of Education, knew or should have known about the abuse. Rogers School is a private school for grades kindergarten through eight and is operated by the Stamford Board of Education.
One student, Thomas Carter, who now lives out of state, said he suffered physical and emotional abuse while he was a student there in the late 1970s. He said Martinez sexually abused him during the school day. The lawsuit further claims that the Board of Education and the principal failed to supervise Martinez adequately and failed to recognize that a member of their staff had an interest in young boys and failed to investigate and take appropriate steps.
In a second lawsuit, filed under the pseudonym Patrick Doe, makes similar accusations. The suits said, “it was commonly known among the student body and/or faculty that the defendant Martinez spent alone time with minor students, including the minor plaintiff(s), in his private office.”
According to Attorney Cindy Robinson, of Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney, Martinez was hired in 1972 and worked at Rogers for 10 years when he moved to Hart Elementary School in Stamford as a gym teacher. In 1991, Martinez moved to the Toquam School in Stamford, also as a gym teacher, and was there through 2005 at which time he retired.
“Tragically, these assaults have had lasting effects on all of the victims as they saw Mr. Martinez as a respected role model who then betrayed their confidence and violated their person,” said Robinson.
The lawsuits are asking for monetary, punitive and exemplary damages.