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Law & Order: Suit Over Pedophile Teacher

Author(s): From Staff Reports The Plain Dealer Date: June 7, 2007 Section: Metro

CLEVELAND Suit over pedophile teacher

Doctors at a Cleveland school for special-needs children could have stopped a serial pedophile teacher from raping and molesting boys in his care, the victims’ parents said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Phillip Distasio, 34, is serving life in prison for sexual attacks on nine autistic boys under 11 years old. The suit accuses five of the victims’ doctors at the Positive Education Program of facilitating Distasio’s crimes by ignoring numerous warning signs from 2001 to 2005. PEP officials hired Distasio without properly investigating his background and failed to supervise him close enough at work, the lawsuit claims. The parents’ attorney, Craig Bashein, said the victims will continue to suffer from the attacks for the rest of their lives.