GREENWICH, N.Y. - The former Greenwich art teacher whose charges were dismissed after being accused of improper contact with a student is now suing the police officers and prosecutors who handled his case for $70 million in damages.
Eric McHenry, of Queensbury, has filed a federal lawsuit against two Cambridge-Greenwich police officers, Police Chief George Bell, Washington County Assistant District Attorney Katherine Henley, and the Villages of Greenwich, Cambridge, and Washington County.
His attorney, Brian Breedlove, accuses the prosecutors of violating McHenry's civil rights through malicious prosecution, false arrest, and denial of a fair trial.
McHenry worked as an elementary school art teacher for the Greenwich School District in 2011 when he was charged for allegedly having sexual contact with one student and improperly touching several others. He was suspended after the charges, and eventually lost his job.
All of the misdemeanor charges, including sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, were dismissed earlier this year by a Washington County judge. The issue came with key testimony from one of his former students; a female student who Breedlove claims was known by police to be mentally incompetent, suffering from auditory hallucinations and delusions.
Breedlove claims police and prosecutors knew this prior to presenting the student's testimony to the grand jury.
Greenwich Central School District Superintendent Matthias Donnelly and former principal Benjamin Pisani also faced charges for apparently not reporting the alleged incidents. Both of their charges were dropped, as well.