Cuomo to be questioned in sexual harassment investigation
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to be interviewed Saturday as the state attorney general's office winds down its investigation into sexual harassment allegations that upended his national reputation and threatened his hold on power as he gears up to run for a fourth term next year. The timing of the interview in Albany, the state’s capital, was confirmed Thursday to The Associated Press by two people familiar with the case who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
An investigation stemming from an inappropriate yearbook photo in 1997 has revealed years of alleged sexual assault and misconduct from a California high school teacher. © Smith Collection/Getty Images Berkeley High School sexual misconduct
As reported in an in-depth profile by Ally Markovich for Berkeleyside, the revelations began after Genevieve Mage, a yearbook teacher at Berkeley High School, received a copy of the school's 2003 yearbook from a student in early 2020.
In it, she saw the distressing photo, showing teacher Matt Bissell hugging student Rachel Phillips, 17 at the time, from behind. In the same yearbook, Phillips was voted "most likely to date a teacher" by her peers.
Texas Teacher Sentenced to Prison for Sending Sexually Explicit Emails to 8th Grader, Trying to ‘Draw and Drink Her Blood’
A former Texas teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life for sending sexually explicit emails to an eighth-grade student, and attempting to draw and drink her blood. Marc Sherman Allison, who taught orchestra at Cain Middle School in Rockwall County, pleaded guilty to online solicitation of a minor, a third-degree felony offense, according to a statement from Rockwall Texas District Attorney Kenda Culpepper. Allison’s 10-year sentence is the maximum punishment. The plea agreement was approved by the student’s family, officials said. Allison was sentenced on July 8.
This led Mage down a "dark rabbit hole," reaching out to Phillips through Facebook about the photos and eventually unearthing allegations of Bissell's sexual misconduct from "multiple current and former students."
Phillips detailed years of alleged sexual and inappropriate behavior from Bissell, including his tendencies to "tap her buttocks, make comments about her appearance, and engage in a host of other inappropriate behaviors, starting when she was 14 and continuing throughout her time at Berkeley High."
Past students also claimed that Bissell often engaging in "hard sexual innuendo."
Yearbooks from other years were also found to include lewd sexual jokes by, and relating to, Bissell.
"I have thought a lot," Phillips said in her initial response to Mage's inquiry. "[T]his teacher shouldn't be teaching young women."
Gov. Cuomo grilled by investigators Saturday amid sexual harassment probe
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was interrogated by investigators on Saturday related to the over half dozen accusations of sexual harassment that have been levied against him. Cuomo was questioned by outside lawyers brought on by Attorney General Leticia Jenkins and was asked those questions under oath, according to reports. The New York Democrat has been accused by at least eight women of sexual misconduct including unwanted touching, inappropriate remarks, and creating an uncomfortable work environment for female staffers.
Mage's findings from Phillips and other Berkeley High alumni also revealed a trend of the school failing to act on complaints regarding Bissell.
"The district technically has all this information," Mage told Berkeleyside. "The injustice here feeds off of isolation. The only way that he's been able to get away with it for so long, that anyone here in this whole system has been able to get away with this for so long, is because they don't know about each other."
Bissell was let go from the Berkeley Unified School District after an internal investigation backed up the allegations from Phillips and others. He was first put on paid leave after Phillips filed a Title IX complaint against him on October 9, 2020.
Phillips filed a civil lawsuit against Bissell and the Berkeley Unified School District with the Alameda County Superior Court. It seeks damages for complaints that include negligence; negligent hiring/retention; negligent supervision/failure to warn; negligent failure to warn, train, or educate Phillips; sexual assault; sexual harassment; battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and gender violence. Phillips included all of the allegations she shared with Mage in the suit.
He Was a Football Star at Ohio’s Top Christian High School. Now He’s Accused of Raping a Sleeping Girl.
A high-school football star who attended a prestigious Christian private school raped a sleeping girl at an Ohio home a few weeks before Christmas, according to state prosecutors. A criminal complaint filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court alleges Crosley MacEachen, 18, encountered the unconscious victim in a bedroom at the home in Symmes Township, then stripped her naked and began having sex with her. MacEachen, who played cornerback and wide receiver last season for the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, is charged with rape, gross sexual imposition, and sexual battery.“These charges are unproven allegations,” MacEachen’s attorney, R.
Mage's investigation into the matter has also put a spotlight on a pervasive "rape culture" that many have reported at Berkeley High. Prior to Mage first seeing the photo, students at the school staged walkouts to protest its "lax approach toward misconduct."
Female students were also known to have kept a "boys to watch out 4" list, scratched into the side of a bathroom stall.
Newsweek reached out to Berkeley High for comments on the Bissell situation as well as the accusations against its handling of misconduct allegations but has not heard back at this time.
Newsweek also reached out to the Berkeley Unified School District for a comment on the lawsuit in which it is named but has not heard back yet.
Newsweek has attempted to find Bissell's contact information but has so far been unable to reach him.
This story will be updated as Newsweek hears back from the parties involved.
Similarly pervasive sexual misconduct allegations were recently levied against the Thacher School, an elite boarding school in Ojai, California.
An employee was also recently accused of sexual abuse and misconduct at the Cate School, another exclusive boarding school based in California.
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Lawsuits Pile Up Against Twice-Indicted Principal Accused of Sexually Abusing at Least 24 Students Over 12-Year Period .
An upstate New York elementary school principal is facing multiple criminal charges for allegedly abusing at least two dozen students over at least 12 years, and now the civil lawsuits have started rolling in. Kirk Ashton, who had been the principal at Northwood Elementary School since 2004, has been in custody at the Niagara County Jail since April, when he was first indicted and charged with abusing at least nine children over four years. He was indicted again in June, and at least three civil lawsuits have been filed against Ashton and other school district employees.