Perry school district pays $3.5 million in sexual abuse case
The Associated Press - January 17, 2019 2:40 pm
PERRY, Okla. (AP) – A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit accusing an Oklahoma school district of shielding a sexual predator and calling children liars.
Court documents show Perry Public Schools admitted liability for the “unwanted and unlawful touching” of 14 girls by a former teacher’s aide and agreed to pay the families $3.5 million to settle the case.
Arrest affidavits note the Perry Upper Elementary School students detailed how 87-year-old Arnold Cowen fondled them and touched their breasts in 2016 and 2017, sometimes during “lengthy hugs and inappropriate touches.”
Cowen was charged with 20 counts of lewd or indecent acts to children under 16 and one count of aggravated possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to all charges last February and is serving a 10-year prison sentence.