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May 31, 2019 1:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

More Accusations Of Sexual Assault Made Against Riverhead Principal During His Time At Eastport-South Manor Schools

Jun 5, 2019 11:23 AM

A former student in Eastport-South Manor schools more than 15 years ago has leveled a second accusation against Charles Regan, the Riverhead High School principal and Quogue resident who was accused last month of inappropriate behavior with an 18-year-old student there, saying he sexually assaulted her and committed statutory rape when she was a minor student and he was her basketball coach.

The former student plans to sue the school district for $20 million, attorney John Ray said in a press release on Friday. He also represents the Riverhead accuser, Anastasia Stapon.

In the notice of claim, served on Eastport-South Manor School District officials on May 16, the woman claimed that, beginning at 13 years old, she was sexually groomed by Mr. Regan over a five-year period while she attended Dayton Avenue School and, later, Eastport High School. She said she was sent sexually charged electronic messages, and had sexual contact, including intercourse, with him on several occasions, beginning when she was 16. The incidents left her “severely mentally and psychologically damaged,” according to the document.

It also stated that school district administrators and employees knew of the affair between Mr. Regan and the student and failed to appropriately address the problem.

At the request of the woman, through her attorney, The Press has agreed not to identify her by name.

The woman, now in her mid-30s, said she first encountered Mr. Regan when he became her basketball coach. From that point up until her graduation from high school, Mr. Regan actively pursued sexual relations with her, she charges.

He acted as her counselor and frequently spent time with her in and out of school.

“She has been destroyed. Her coach, who had been her mentor, her hero, is in fact just a pervert who used his power over her to ensnare her in his dirty sexual traps,” the document states. “She was especially defenseless, a sitting target for a predator.”

Mr. Regan was hired in October 1997 and resigned in June 2006 to become assistant principal at Riverhead High School. The notice of claim describes the former student’s allegations against Mr. Regan and district administrators and employees from 1997 through 2002—the period in which the allegations were made. Mr. Regan, now 48, was a special education teacher and basketball coach in the South Manor School District at the time, prior to the district’s complete merger with the Eastport School District.

The notice of claim describes their first sexual encounter, saying Mr. Regan took the student on a date when she was 16, provided her with alcoholic beverages and later made her perform oral sex. Her late return home that night prompted her mother to report the encounter to Eastport district administration.

An investigation into their relationship by Eastport and South Manor district administrators fell short when Mr. Regan and the then-student gave a false story as to why she came home late, according to the notice. Documents stated that her mother did not believe the story and later sent copies of electronic sexual messages between the two to administrators, who did not take any action.

“He used exactly the same grooming techniques upon her that he’s used on other victims as well, including Anastasia. And, of course, very effectively—they worked,” her Miller Place-based attorney, Mr. Ray, said in an earlier interview. He added that he knows of one other alleged victim from Mr. Regan’s time at Eastport-South Manor but said that he is not currently representing that individual.

Anastasia Stapon, 18, a senior at Riverhead High School, came forward publicly in early May accusing Mr. Regan of forcibly kissing her in his office a week prior and said that he had sexually groomed her for months before that. She said at a press conference that she plans to sue him, the Riverhead School District and its board members for $10 million.

Mr. Ray said that the Suffolk County district attorney's office agreed to investigate Anastasia's case.

On Friday, Mr. Ray added, “This fellow is probably the most evil sexual predator I’ve encountered in my 36 years and I’ve encountered many of them. He’s got to be the worst, the most insidious of them all.”

He said that he has not received any response from the Eastport-South Manor district after submitting the notice of claim. A complaint will soon be filed in court to begin legal proceedings, he added.

Eastport-South Manor district administrators did not return requests for comment.

After the district denied a Freedom of Information Law request for the notice of claim—a precursor to a lawsuit—The Press obtained a copy of the document. The district had denied both a FOIL request for the notice of claim and an appeal for a redacted copy, citing its exemption of disclosure because it is an educational record, and that disclosure would constitute “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on May 31, 19 2:13 PM
Please sue the school, school board and all involved. Before he was hired did he get a check to leave as Southampton did? Why did Riverhead not find out his back ground? Neglience at it's best...
What is happening to our school systems??? Inept people running our schools...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 31, 19 2:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Like the church, school districts and municipalities are at civil risk at this time thanks to a law enacted this year for a 1 year unlimited look back period for filing litigation related to sexual assault. This is going to be a very, very bumpy ride.
By roverton (64), Westhampton on May 31, 19 3:10 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Sturgis (611), Southampton on Jun 1, 19 9:24 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Sturgis (611), Southampton on Jun 1, 19 12:16 PM