Hightstown High School teacher accused of sex with student 30 years ago
A Spanish teacher at Hightstown High School has been accused of sexual encounters with a student more than 30 years ago — leading to "control and domination" for decades.
NJ Advance Media reported the former student, identified as "J.D.," filed a lawsuit against Donna Ratner in Mercer County Superior Court claiming that the encounters — beginning when he was 16 and continuing for nine years — were the root of his emotional problems as an adult.
The East Windsor Regional School District in a statement on the district website said that Ratner was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. "It is alleged that the conduct occurred away from school, and under circumstances where school officials at the time would not have been aware," the statement reads. "The District takes all allegations of sexual abuse seriously, and will remain vigilant throughout this investigation, as well as in identifying any signs that it may occur in the future."
J.D.'s lawyer told the news site his client tried to break off his connection to Ratner a number of times over the nine years, but Ratner would get jealous of "J.D." if he dated other women. Contact between Ratner and "J.D." ended when he was 40, the report quotes the lawsuit saying.
Under New Jersey law, a person can consent to sex at 16, but not with another person who holds a position of authority over the younger party.