School employee charged with child seduction
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- South Bend special education aide Denise Freitag is facing two charges of child seduction after engaging in a sexual relationship with a student and buying him drugs.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t shock me it saddens me more than anything else just because of how egregious that violation is where you have kids in a system where they should be around people that they trust," said Rhonda Gipson-Willis.
Gipson-Willis believes educators taking sexual advantage of students has become far too common.
As a parent of a recent Riley graduate, she hopes the school district is making sure something like this won’t happen again.
“My confidence is more in how they handle the situation as opposed to what led up to it," said Gipson-Willis.
The victim’s family released a statement earlier today saying "Denise Freitag and the South Bend Community Schools were trusted by our family to protect victim 1 and help him overcome his disabilities."
The family’s attorney Charlie Rice didn’t want to speak on camera, but also released a statement saying "Tragically, this is also not the first time that a special needs paraprofessional with South Bend Community Schools betrayed the trust of parents and special needs students,"
Gipson-Willis says parents should use this as an opportunity to have open conversations with their kids.
“I would hope that we really do our due diligence as a community in educating our kids and also treating our kids and not allowing this to become something that we normalize," said Gipson-Willis.
Frietag is still in jail at this time, but we did knock on the door of her home provided in court documents to see if someone would speak on her behalf. There was no answer.