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Fruitport schools sued by teenager over sexual abuse by secretary

By Amy Fox/WZZM-TV • Feb 26, 2018 at 7:15 PM

FRUITPORT — Fruitport Community Schools is facing a federal lawsuit from a teenager who was sexually abused by a former secretary in the school district.

Sandra Lynn Fielstra pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct charges in 2016, based on a sexual relationship she had with a 16-year-old high school student. At the time of the incident, she was a secretary at Fruitport High School, where the teen attended.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Grand Rapids on Feb. 20. It accuses Fielstra, now 41, of giving the boy illegal drugs and alcohol, sexually assaulting the teen in a car multiple times including on prom night, and having sex with the student starting when he was 16.

It is alleged that the school district and several district leaders knew about it, or should have seen signs of the affair between the secretary and student, but did not take action. The lawsuit says Vice Principal Robert Rogers confiscated the teen's phone "in the spring of 2015, noticing a text message between plaintiff and defendant Fielstra, which he thought to be unusual but did not report it to anyone."

A number of students contacted Fruitport High School faculty, staff and administrators about the relationship between the student and secretary, according to the lawsuit, but the school did not "conduct a legitimate investigation" into the accusations or contact the teen's parents or Child Protective Services.

The lawsuit also says that Principal Lauren Chesney talked with the teen's mother about information the school gathered regarding the relationship between the teen and the secretary, but did not give the mother enough information so that she could determine what was actually going on with her son.

The student is suing for more than $1 million.

Fielstra was sentenced in March 2017 to between 2.5 and 15 years to the Michigan Department of Corrections on the child sexual abuse charges, according to an MLive story.

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