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Former Edison High School student claims teacher abused him in the 1980’s

Under the Child Victims Act, a former Edison High School student is suing The township Board of Education claiming he was sexually abused by a teacher in the 1980s.

The suit, filed in Superior Court last week, alleges that the school board “failed to take reasonable steps” to protect the student from the abuse. ITh suit claims that the shop teacher Frederick Burkley, from 1983 to 1985, “groomed” the student “to gain his trust and to obtain control over him” as part of a plan to sexually molest and abuse him.

Burkley, who has since died, also served as coach of the school’s weightlifting club and swim team.

In 1986, Burkley pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual contact in 1983 and 1984  for abusing two male students, ages 14 and 15.

Burkley was then ordered to pay for his own psychiatric counseling after he was placed on probation following his guilty plea.

After an investigation, Burkley was indicted and resigned as a teacher following the indictment.

The lawsuit claims that the school district “should have known” that Burkley was a “known sexual abuser of children.”

The lawsuit contends that the student, who was 13 to 15 years old at the time, has sustained physical and psychological injuries, including severe emotional and psychological distress, anger, humiliation, depression, anxiety, family suffering, a severe shock to his nervous system, physical pain and mental anguish.

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