Complaint: Little Chute superintendent knew of allegations against teacher

OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Little Chute high school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting a teen in Marinette County, has now been charged in a separate assault case in Outagamie County.

On Monday, Jason La Vigne was charged in Outagamie County with Repeated Sexual Assault of Same Child.

A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News states the school superintendent was told of the allegations in 2009 and never reported them to police.

The complaint states investigators learned the former Little Chute student reported allegations against La Vigne to school officials in 2009. She said the assaults happened between January 1999 and late March 1999. The girl was a 14-year-old freshman at the high school.

Fox Valley Metro Police were tipped off about the case from Marinette County investigators who had obtained La Vigne's personnel file.

Police uncovered an email the victim sent to a school counselor in 2009 that said the LaVigne would rub his "erect penis" on her back during class.

The victim, who is now a 33-year-old Illinois resident, remembered these incidents vividly, according to a criminal complaint. Police traveled to Illinois to speak with her.

She told the officer La Vigne would ask her to "go down his pants" with her hands or mouth.

She said she decided to come forward in 2009 because the emotions from the incidents came back. She said she was compelled to tell school officials because her younger siblings were in high school.

The criminal complaint says the 2009 report was forwarded to school superintendent David Botz. Botz wrote a report about the allegation.

"He came to the conclusion that there was not enough evidence to suggest that La Vigne acted inappropriately," reads the criminal complaint.

The allegations were never reported to police or Child Protective Services.

One of the victim's teachers and the counselor each spoke well of the victim, describing her as quiet and "the kind of student you like to have in class."

The counselor who received the email from the former student told police that he was under the impression that the superintendent informed law enforcement about it. The counselor said Botz told him that he had informed the School Resource Officer.

That now former School Resource Officer told police he was never informed about the assault allegations.

An officer made contact with Botz, who could not recall why he didn't tell police about the allegations.

The Little Chute Area School District released this statement after charges were filed in the 1999 case.

"Little Chute Area School District was made aware on the evening of June 15, 2018 that the Fox Valley Metro Police Department had arrested a staff member in connection to an incident that is alleged to have occurred in 1999 with a Little Chute High School student. This afternoon, on June 18, 2018, this staff member was criminally charged in connection with this matter.

"In light of the investigation pending in Marinette County, the District has been working closely with law enforcement to ensure they have all the information needed to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.

"In cooperating with Marinette County, the District shared an investigation that was conducted in 2009 after a former student reported an incident that was alleged to have occurred in 1999 while the individual was a student. While the incident is alleged to have occurred in 1999, the allegation was not reported to the District until 2009. As soon as the allegation was reported, immediate action was taken and a full investigation was conducted. At that time, the District was unable to substantiate any evidence of wrongdoing. However, the District cannot speculate on what additional information or evidence law enforcement may be privy to as part of their investigation. The District has no reason to believe any other students were involved, and the District has received no other complaints regarding this individual. So as not to interfere with the investigation of law enforcement, the District will continue to treat this as a confidential personnel matter. The staff member in question remains on administrative leave from the District.
No further information will be released at this time.

"Our priority is ensuring the continued safety and well-being of all children. Therefore, we will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement’s investigation."

La Vigne was arrested in the Little Chute case on June 15. He was out on bond for a charge of 3rd Degree Sexual Assault in Marinette County.

La Vigne has been in and out of custody since his arrest earlier this month in the Marinette County case.

A criminal complaint says Marinette County deputies were contacted on June 2 about a possible sexual assault that happened in the Crivitz area.

The victim, a 16-year-old girl, told officials she had traveled to Marinette County with the La Vigne family to a cabin in the Town of Stephenson. The victim said La Vigne gave her several vodka lemonades while they were out on a pontoon boat.

The girl said La Vigne pulled the boat on to a sandy beach area.The victim says La Vigne touched her, took off her swimsuit bottoms and sexually assaulted her there. The girl told officials that she told him to stop but La Vigne did not listen.

La Vigne posted bond and was released on the condition that he not be around children who are not his own. The judge said he could not attend his son's graduation party because underage people would be there.

Shortly after his release, he was picked up by Appleton Police on a charge of Felony Bail Jumping. La Vigne, defying the order of the Marinette County judge, attended Appleton West High School's graduation.

A witness saw him there and called police.

La Vigne bonded out again, and was arrested for the 1999 assault a few days later.

On Monday, Outagamie County Court set La Vigne's bond at $20,000.

La Vigne is on administrative leave from the Little Chute School District.