San Jose

Another Lawsuit Filed Against San Jose School District Over Sexual Abuse by Music Teacher

A second lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Union School District for allegedly failing to prevent suspected sexual misconduct by a former music teacher who was arrested and charged in connection with the case in 2017.

Samuel Neipp, 34, of Gilroy, was a music teacher at Dartmouth Middle School in 2008 when the plaintiff, Jane Doe, began attending the school. She was 12 years old at the time and Neipp was in his 20s, and he allegedly began grooming her for a sexual relationship that apparently lasted three years.

Attorneys said Doe, who is now 22, decided to file the lawsuit in 2017 when she was a senior in college after learning that there were additional girls targeted by Neipp. She reported the abuse for the first time and he was arrested in October 2017.

Administrators at the school are accused of not initiating an investigation into Neipp's behavior and allowing him to continue spending time with her at the school.

Neipp is also named in the lawsuit and is currently awaiting trial for charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under 14 years old, oral copulation, possession of child pornography and extortion, after being accused of threatening to release nude images of Doe.

According to a complaint filed by attorneys on behalf of Doe, administrators and staff at the school district told Neipp and Doe they were spending an inappropriate amount of time together, but did not actively put a stop to the behavior, or act on prior reports they had received about Neipp.

Neipp's alleged sexual abuse escalated to the point of oral copulation, digital penetration and sexual groping by the time Doe was 14 years old, according to the complaint, which says Neipp took advantage of her at a vulnerable time in her life.

Doe began distancing herself from Neipp in 2011 due to the stress of hiding the relationship, but he allegedly continued contacting her for several more years.

The lawsuit alleges administrators at the district did not act on serious prior complaints that could have prevented Doe's abuse, and did not adequately investigate, hire or train Neipp.

Damages in the lawsuit have not yet been specified, but the plaintiff says the abuse caused her severe mental and emotional distress, in additional to past, present and future medical treatment toward her recovery.

The first lawsuit against the school district was filed in January by another student who says she was a victim of Neipp. The district said at the time that it is "fully cooperating" with investigators and will not provide any information that could interfere with the case.

"These disturbing allegations, if found to be true, are completely at odds with our district's values and goals," district officials said in a statement.

The district could not be reached for comment regarding the second lawsuit.

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