Girl Doe v. Wilton: Wilton motions to extend plea deadline

The family of a Miller-Driscoll School student has filed a civil lawsuit against both the town and the school district, alleging Eric Von Kohorn, the former Miller-Driscoll paraprofessional recently incarcerated on a child pornography possession charge, sexually abused their daughter.

Attorney Thomas R. Gerarde of Howd & Ludorf, LLC., representing the Town of Wilton and Wilton Board of Education, on Dec. 10 moved the Stamford Superior Court to push the lawsuit’s plea deadline 30 days out, “up to and including Feb. 15, 2016.”

“Such additional time is necessary to confer with the defendant to evaluate the plaintiff’s complaint and respond to the same,” Gerarde’s motion said.

The status conference for the lawsuit, originally filed Oct. 7, is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2016.

Represented by attorney Paul Slager of Silver Golub & Teitell in Stamford, the family who brought the suit is anonymously referred to as Doe in the complaint.

They allege that Von Kohorn sexually assaulted the preschool student in a school bathroom during the 2012-13 year.

The first count of the complaint is against the Wilton Board of Education. It says the girl’s mother dropped her off at school on Jan. 2, 2013 and Von Kohorn escorted her into the building. Shortly after, the complaint says, “Von Kohorn escorted Girl Doe alone into a deserted bathroom inside Miller-Driscoll” where he “inappropriately touched, sexually assaulted and battered” her.

It also says at least one other school staff member knew Von Kohorn was taking the girl into the bathroom alone, but failed to stop him.

When the girl went home, her mother noticed visible irritation to her genital area and the girl said Von Kohorn “wiped her too hard.”

The lawsuit further claims the girl’s parents reported the incident to preschool director Dr. Fred Rapczynski, referred to as “principal.” The lawsuit claims Rapczynski violated his legal obligation to report the allegation to the state Department of Children and Families within 12 hours, instead waiting four days before making the legally mandated report.

The complaint also claims Rapczynski submitted a signed report to DCF indicating Von Kohorn admitted taking the girl to the bathroom, but then separately informed the girl’s parents his investigation concluded just the opposite: that Von Kohorn had never taken the girl to the bathroom at all. Based on Rapczynski’s false representations, the suit alleges, the girl’s parents permitted her to have further contact with Von Kohorn, which caused her additional trauma.

There are three further counts to the complaint — by the girl and the parents — as to the town of Wilton, claiming it is legally responsible for any damages assessed against the Wilton Board of Education.

In addition to the injuries suffered by the girl, the lawsuit alleges the mother and father have suffered physical and emotional injury from knowing they did not seek timely treatment for their daughter based on Rapczynski’s inaccurate information. Their emotional distress, the complaint says, was severe enough it might result in illness or bodily harm to the parents.

The family is seeking compensatory damages in excess of the minimum of $15,000.

Arrested in late 2014, Von Kohorn pled guilty to one count of illegal possession of child pornography in the second degree and on Oct. 23 of this year was formally sentenced to six years in prison, suspended after two years, and 10 years probation.