Fall River Catholic school teacher found liable in sexual assault case

By News Staff


A Fall River Catholic school teacher was found liable in a civil trial for the sexual assault of one of his students back in 1987.

A New Bedford Superior Court judge rendered a civil verdict against Albert Vaillancourt, a teacher at Notre Dame School in Fall River. The jury awarded $300,000 to the plaintiff, who sued under the name John Doe.

The plaintiff testified that he was sexually assaulted in 1987, when he was 10 years old, by Vaillancourt who was then his sixth grade teacher.

He says the abuse occurred on two occasions in the classroom, during recess breaks, and on one occasion at Vaillancourt’s home, when he was there to cut the grass.

Another person testified that he was also sexually assaulted by Vaillancourt when he was ten years old at the Fall River CYO building in a manner which was similar to the way in with John Doe was assaulted.

The plaintiff was able to prosecute his case because of a new, retroactive, MA statute of limitations law which allows a person sexually abused as a child to file suit at any time prior to his 53rd birthday.  This is the first case tried under the law since the Supreme Judicial Court declared the law constitutionally sound in December 2015.

© WLNE-TV 2016