Civil Rights, Sexual Abuse February 3, 2020bhorwitz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ALLYSSA GUSTAFSON, TEACHER’S AIDE WHO HAD SEX WITH MALE STUDENT
A new lawsuit was filed today against Allyssa Gustafson, a twenty-four-year-old teacher’s aide who is being criminally prosecuted for having sex with a fourteen-year-old male student. The sex abuse took place last year, while the student was enrolled at the Circle Academy in Urbana, Illinois. Gustafson was a teacher’s aide in the student’s classroom. The lawsuit, filed by the Blake Horwitz Law Firm, seeks $5 million dollars in damages from Gustafson, the Circle Academy, and the Circle Academy’s parent organization, Cunningham Children’s Home.
The student was born in 2004. In 2019, the student was enrolled at the Circle Academy, a private school in Urbana, Illinois, that provides services to youth with special needs and their families. The student has a diagnosed behavior disability. During the 2018-2019 school year, Gustafson was a teacher’s aide in the student’s classroom.
In the spring of 2019, Gustafson sent a message to the student on Facebook. The message contained Gustafson’s cellphone number. Over the following weeks, Gustafson began communicating with the student via text messages. Gustafson sent the student photographs of herself wearing bathing suits and lingerie. Gustafson told the student to keep their relationship a secret and to delete the text messages between them.
Gustafson’s abuse of the student soon escalated, and she engaged in intercourse with the student on at least five occasions. The student was fourteen years old at the time. Gustafson has since been arrested and charged with criminal sexual assault. That case is still pending.
The student must live with the effects of the terrible abuse he suffered at the hands of a predatory teacher. However, Blake Horwitz, the student’s attorney, is hopeful that the student’s bravery in this matter will inspire other victims to come forward.
The Blake Horwitz Law Firm is committed to achieving justice for students, especially victims of child sex abuse. The firm holds the record for the largest recovery in U.S. history for a priest sex abuse case and continues to aggressively fight on behalf of victims.