by Kyle Swenson
A lawsuit filed this month alleges that a Cleveland schoolteacher sexually assaulted one of her students in 2007. The suit also charges that the district should have flagged the teacher as a danger before the alleged incidents took place.
Reyon Coleman was a student at East High School when he passed through the classroom of teacher Cynthia Reiman. According to the suit, filed by Coleman against his former teacher and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Reiman “physically and sexually abused and assaulted” Coleman during a four-day span in October 2007.
The incidents were reported to police, Coleman’s attorney Joseph Bancsi tells Scene, and court documents show that Reiman was eventually charged with three counts of sexual imposition and one count of endangering children. The first three charges were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea on the latter. Reiman was given five years of probation and was forbidden to work with children. Her teaching certificated was permanently yanked by the state.
But Bancsi argues the school already knew Reiman was a threat to students. A few years prior to the incident with Coleman, Reiman had a relationship with another district student, Bancsi says — and even had a child with him.
“She has this shtick about young black males,” the lawywer says of Reiman, who is white.
According to Bancsi, police investigated the allegation with the other student, but no one cooperated and no charges were filed. Coleman’s suit claims the pattern shows the teacher “has a perverse sexual fixation on male African American minor students” and that the district “knew of ... Reiman’s sexual activities with students,” but failed to step in before the alleged incidents with Coleman.
Phone calls to a number listed under Reiman’s name were not answered. Schools spokeswoman Roseann Canfora told Scene the district does not comment on open litigation.