A former Simsbury teacher is off the job and arrested after police said he harassed a student for more than one year.
Police said he used his power as a teacher to force the teenage boy to hang out and communicate with him.
The teacher is accused of following the student around school, and even getting a job at a grocery store that he was working at just to continue to harass and hold that position of authority over him.
Police said 36-year-old Mark Cohan is a former Spanish teacher at Simsbury High School and is being charged with sexual harassment and disorderly conduct, after an alleged obsession with a male student.
“I believe it’s egregious, it’s intimidating,” said Manny Cicchiello, the student’s attorney.
Cicchiello is handling the case against Cohan and the Simsbury Board of Education.
Cicchiello said Cohan initially ‘friended’ several male students on Facebook in 2013.
Court documents said “He would threaten to commit suicide in order to pressure the Plaintiff and other students to continue communicating to him.”
One month later, documents said that one student was singled out.
“Through a combination of utilizing his authority as a teacher to intimidate the plaintiff and through continually threatening to commit suicide, Cohan was able to force plaintiff to continue to interact with him,” the documents said.
The court documents also showed that Cohan would text and call as many as 30 times per day.
Cohan is also accused of blackmailing the student to convince him to go over his house. Court documents said that after a night of drinking, the student woke up “covered in vomit and with his zipper down.”
The student eventually went to the Simsbury High School principal, where an investigation began.
Cohan was arrested over the summer and resigned.
Simsbury’s Board of Education said they acted swiftly to remove Cohan.
Both the civil and criminal cases are in their early stages, and Cohan’s criminal file has been sealed.
He is due back in court in March.