Officials in the Riverhead school district are cognizant about the community outrage surrounding the future of high school principal Charles Regan, they acknowledged at a school board meeting on June 11.
Unfortunately, in the absence of criminal charges, the district’s hands are somewhat tied, school board president Susan Koukounas said in a prepared statement. That said, she announced the school board would file numerous disciplinary charges against Regan while the district awaits the completion of investigations by Riverhead Town Police and the Suffolk County Seventh Squad.
Regan is accused by an 18-year old Riverhead student, Anastasia Stapon, of sending her thousands of text messages, many obscene, and by physically and mentally intimidating her into having sex. She has made it clear in court papers that she was not violated sexually, however.
But another student from the Eastport-South Manor school district alleges in the court papers that she was coerced into a sexual relationship with Regan some 20 years ago when he was her teacher and basketball coach. Suffolk County Police are handling that case.
State Education Law limits what charges can be leveled against Regan under the circumstances; there are stringent confidentiality clauses, and the district is handcuffed as to suspending his almost $200,000 a year salary and for how long his pay can be withheld. He has been receiving his pay since his suspension from the school grounds on April 30.
“The district intends to vigorously and expeditiously pursue those charges, using the procedures outlined in the law,” Koukounas said.
That alleged victim in the ESM incident has made allegations that constitute statutory rape against Regan. The victim, now 35, is represented by the same attorney Stapon has, John Ray, of Miller Place. Ray is calling for Regan’s dismissal. The school board hired Sokoloff Stern LLP of Carle Place to investigate the case.
Ray says there is yet another victim ready to come forward with allegations against Regan.