Two Wilmington area law firms filed a civil class-action lawsuit today against the
Guilford County Board of Education and the former Dudley High School coach and teacher’s assistant accused of sexually assaulting students.
The complaint has been filed by The Lea/Schultz Law Firm, P.C., and the Rhine Law Firm, P.C. Both firms ask that the media and public respect the privacy and sensitive nature of the injuries involved as more victims come forward.
The former teacher is Christopher Arnell Holland, age 37, who was arrested and charged in March with nine counts of sex acts with a student.
Additional victims have been identified and on Monday, May 4, new charges were added to Holland:
- three counts of statutory rape of a child by an adult
- two counts of statutory sex offense with a child by an adult
- one count of indecent liberties with a child
Holland served as a teaching assistant and assistant basketball coach at Dudley High School starting in Aug. 2014 through March 11, 2020, when he was apparently allowed by district officials to resign.
At the time of his arrest, he was being held under two secured bonds totaling $350,000. Those bonds were reduced to $200,000, but with the new charges added have been increased to $3.7 million.
The suit has been filed in Guilford County Superior Court under Case No. 20 CVS 4852 and alleges that Holland sexually abused and assaulted female students who were minors at the time. The suit also says it is seeking class-action certification on behalf of all of Holland’s victims, many of whom were aged 14 to 18 years old at the time of the alleged crimes.
The complaint is holding the Guilford County Public Schools board liable for Holland’s actions. Allegations in the complaint include district administrators having knowledge of prior complaints about Holland’s inappropriate activities with students for up to two years prior to the incidents involving the current plaintiff and that they “failed to take action.”
“Since Holland’s arrest, parents and students have been at a loss to explain why he was allowed to remain employed,” said Joel Rhine, of the Rhine Law Firm.
In mid-April, the Rhine Law Firm issued a press release stating that “Our focus is on whether anyone employing Holland knew of his behavior and should bear any responsibility within our civil justice system to his victims.”
On May 6, the Rhine Law Firm reiterated they were looking into whether or not the district had prior knowledge of Holland’s activities or of abuse complaints spanning a 10-year period. In the May 6 press statement, the firm stated that the district had not received a response from the superintendent, Sharon Contreras.
“On April 14, we issued a Freedom of Information Act and Public Records request to Dr. Sharon Contreras, Superintendent of Guilford County Schools, for certain documents related to our investigation of the school board and Holland. To date, we have received no response,” said attorney Martin Ramey in the statement.
The case is still open. Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call Greensboro police at (336) 373-2255.
There is no teaching license on file with the state for Holland and he is the tenth teacher arrest tracked by this website in 2020.
Read the full complaint:
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