Great Barrington woman sues former administrators, accused abuser
SPRINGFIELD — A Great Barrington woman who said she was subjected to abuse by a school counselor has filed a civil suit against three former administrators and her alleged abuser, Scott Muir, who was acquitted of criminal charges in 2014.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield claims former Berkshire Hills Regional School District Superintendent Dona Moyer, former Stockbridge Plain School Principal Robert Putnam, and Assistant Principal Gloria Greaves failed to protect her from repeated abuse by Muir beginning in 2003. She was 8 at the time.
Attempts to reach the named defendants for comment were unsuccessful. A message left at the office of current Superintendant Peter Dillon was not returned by press time.
The plaintiff's attorney, Michael Aleo, of Northampton-based Lesser, Newman, Aleo and Nasser, declined comment when reached by telephone Friday.
Muir was acquitted of 19 criminal charges related to accusations he assaulted five girls while he was a counselor at Stockbridge Plain and the Muddy Brook elementary schools. It's unclear if the woman who brought the suit was one of the girls involved in the criminal case.
The suit alleges Muir touched the girl inappropriately and groped her beginning in fall 2003, continuing until fall 2005. The plaintiff is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.
It claims that Moyer, Putnam and Greaves were aware of the accusations, conducted no investigation and failed to honor the parents' request that their child not be left alone with Muir.
Muir would allegedly grope his accuser's buttocks whilst giving piggy-back rides during recess and put the child in his lap and touched her thighs while alone in his basement office with her.
The suit alleges Muir would occasionally take the girl out of class and bring her back to his office, where the alleged behavior would continue.
That behavior intensified beginning in 2004, according to the suit and involved Muir allegedly putting his hands into the girl's pants during office visits.
He allegedly told the child what was happening was a secret and not to tell anyone.
Muir also is accused of having similar encounters with other fourth-grade students, two of whom reported his alleged behavior.
Putnam met with each of those students and their parents to hear their concerns, the suit claims.
He made a report to the Department of Children and Families regarding Muir and informed them he was no longer allowed to give piggy-back rides, meet alone with students nor have any physical contact with them, the suit claims.
Despite that, according to the suit, Muir allegedly continued to meet with the girl alone in his office with no notice to her parents and continued to touch her.
The suit claims the district is liable because it knew or should have known that Muir was engaging in inappropriate behavior, acted with, "deliberate indifference to the situation" and did not put adequate measures in place to keep him from meeting alone with children.
It also claims the district was negligent and reckless by allowing Muir to continue to meet alone with the student, even after being made aware of similar accusations made by other students.
Two months after his acquittal, Muir was formally terminated from his positions as facilities director and emergency services director in Stockbridge.
In April 2016, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed his wrongful termination suit against the town.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
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