Four people sue Ken-Ton schools over sex abuse

Child Victims Act brings forth four instances of alleged abuse from Arthur Werner

Mike Baggerman
August 30, 2019 - 12:56 pm
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Four cases of sex abuse have been brought against Ken-Ton Schools and allege former Hoover Elementary fifth-grade teacher Arthur Werner sexually abused four boys in the 1970s.

Werner is accused of sexually abusing the four boys from 1972 to 1974 by repeatedly assaulting them and other boys in his fifth-grade classroom. The four also accuse Werner of forcing them to watch them regularly do it to other boys in the classroom at Hoover Elementary.  The lawsuits claim negligence, carelessness, lack of supervision, and lack of appropriate policies of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District.

Chris O'Brien, an attorney representing the four plaintiffs, said the boys who were abused are now in their fifties.

"They were abused and they've carried this with them," he said. "Many of them have not even told their families about this because with sexual abuse, unfortunately, there's so much shame involved. Even though none of these men did anything wrong. They were young boys who were brutally taken advantage of by a teacher."

O'Brien said Werner would bring the boys to the front of the classroom to "discipline them". While they were behind his desk, he would grope them.

"We don't know whether there are other people out there who have not come forward because they were afraid of the shame involved," O'Brien said. "It's a situation where we know from these men who, with the exception of one case, none of them knew each other. Several of them have discussed the fact that they saw other boys in their class have the same exact thing happen to them and they feared being called up front."

A phone number listed for Werner was not in service.

KEN-TON SCHOOLS PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT

The Ken-Ton School District is aware of serious and concerning allegations regarding conduct by former members of the district staff at the time of their employment approximately 40 years ago. The district has been committed to taking any and all action within the scope of its authority to appropriately respond to the allegations and has been in communication with the appropriate state authorities regarding this matter. The Ken-Ton School District takes any allegations of misconduct by staff extremely seriously regardless of how much time may have passed or whether the employee is or is not currently employed by the district.

 

 

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