The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson.(Shutterstock) A Bard College percussion teacher marched to a predatory beat, sexually assaulting a young female student shortly after dodging dismissal for an eerily similar incident at the school, a lawsuit charged Tuesday.
Instructor Carlos Valdez was accused in the 16-page Manhattan Federal Court filing of grabbing the teen plaintiff, wrapping both arms around the terrified woman, and trying to stick his tongue in her mouth during a forcible kiss in his sound-proof office. He had previously pressed his erection into the first-year student’s back during a one-on-one percussion class in the fall of 2016, the lawsuit says.
“For years, Bard College knowingly employed a sexual predator as an instructor in its music program and allowed him to prey on students,” says the lawsuit filed on behalf of student Avalon Packer, now 21.
“Valdez groomed Ms. Packer … He then used the power and influence he had developed over time to repeatedly assault her in his basement office during private music lessons,” the suit says.
The victim was unaware that another student leveled a similar allegation against Valdez in the 2014-15 school year, when Bard ignored an investigator’s recommendation for his firing, according to the lawsuit. She didn’t discover the other case until after Valdez was finally dismissed last year, the lawsuit said.
Court papers described Valdez as unapologetic about the incidents, even telling his young accuser that a complaint to school officials was pointless because he “always wins.” And once […]
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