Riverhead High School Principal Charles Regan, when he was a teacher almost two decades ago, engaged in sexual intercourse with an underage student at least three times, the alleged victim said in court papers released May 31.
The alleged victim, now 35, did not reveal her identity.
Last month, a Riverhead High School student filed suit against Regan, alleging inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, and a litany of related charges. Riverhead Town Police are investigating but have yet to charge Regan with criminal wrongdoing. Police Chief David Hegermiller said since both parties are above the legal age and the relationship may have been consensual, the investigation must be a thorough one.
The second alleged victim to come forward was 13 when Regan, a special education teacher, began coaching basketball at the Dayton Avenue School in the Eastport-South Manor School District. In both cases, court papers allege he first built a one-on-one relationship with the youngster that eventually went beyond the normal educator-student dynamic.
The victim alleged that when she was 16, Regan took her to a Knicks game without the knowledge or consent of her family, took her to his home afterward, and made her perform oral sex. By the time she was 17, the abuse had escalated to include intercourse, on at least three occasions, according to court papers. The relationship occurred from 1999 to 2002.
The Eastport-South Manor School District had yet to respond to the allegations as of press time.
“We just filed. We are expecting to hear from them,” said the attorney John Ray of Miller Place. Ray criticized school officials, saying they ignored clear signs of sexual abuse. “Nothing was done,” Ray said. In fact, he charged school districts everywhere are pedophile havens, where abuse of students is widespread and either underreported or reports are buried, far from the public eye. In this case, his client’s mother went to school officials. “They did nothing,” Ray said.
The Suffolk County Police Seventh Squad will handle the investigation.
Ray also represents Anastasia Stapon, the 18-year Riverhead student who went public with her claim that Regan repeatedly tried to lure her into sexual encounters. “He followed the same pattern with both victims,” Ray said. Regan fired off over 15,000 texts to Stapon, some extremely graphic, others troubling — like allegedly stating he was going to kill a student and at one point even his own daughter, Ray said. He provided copies of the texts to this newspaper.
“We gave them these texts,” he said of the authorities. “We didn’t have to, but we’re interested in protecting kids.” He bristled that Regan is still on the district payroll. “This is an extremely sick individual,” he said.
The Dayton Avenue School victim saw Stapon had the courage to come forward, and she saw “the same pattern in the relationship,” Ray added.
Regan had already been suspended on April 30 when Ray and Stapon held a press conference on May 6 announcing his intention to sue the school district and Regan. Stapon spoke to those assembled. “Charles Regan and Riverhead school have destroyed my spirit,” she said. Stapon is seeking $10 million in damages; the latest victim asks the court to award her $40,000.
Regan has been principal at Riverhead since 2006. He is 48 and according to Ray, is married to a schoolteacher. They have two children, Ray said.
Ray said he expected at least one other alleged victim to come forward. She attends school in Eastport and was only 14 when the encounters with Regan allegedly occurred, he said.