DARIEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A federal jury has decided that a special education aide in Darien did sexually abuse a 12 year old student with Down Syndrome. The student’s family sued after the Darien school system ruled that the abuse didn’t happen.
The aide is Zachary Hasak, the nephew of Darien’s then Director of Special Education, Robin Pavia. In 2009-2010, Darien police conducted their own investigation into the matter, and submitted a warrant for Hasak’s arrest to the State’s Attorney in Stamford. He refused to sign the warrant. Darien schools did their own investigation and found there was no merit to the complaint. Hasak was reinstated as a special education aide.
In this decision, the jury believed the account of the student with the disability and rejected the testimony of at least six current and past school system employees who did not believe the student’s allegations of abuse.
The student’s family called the verdict an advancement of the rights of people with disabilities.