Former Riverhead HS principal is a no-show after firing attorneys and failing to contact court for a year

The former Riverhead High School principal accused of sexually abusing an 18-year-old student is facing a possible default judgement in the civil case against him after he failed to appear for a conference in federal court Tuesday.

Magistrate Judge Steven Tiscione of the Eastern District Court of New York has ordered Charles Regan to appear on telephone conference June 11 to show cause why a default judgement should not be entered against him.

Mr. Regan has not been in contact with the court or any attorneys in the case in more than a year, according to the judge’s filing. In February 2020, he fired the attorneys he had initially hired to represent him and despite urging from that firm and the judge to seek new counsel, court records show he has not yet done so and is currently representing himself by default.

The judge said Mr. Regan has also failed to keep the court informed of his current address. He will be served at his parents’ house in Manorville.

At Tuesday’s hearing, the calendar was set for upcoming stages of the ongoing case, with a trial not slated to begin until 2022. A settlement conference is scheduled for late July.

In a decision last month, U.S. District Court Judge William F. Kuntz II dismissed several claims of civil rights violations against the Riverhead School District and several officials who are co-defendants in the case, including those arising from allegations suggesting other school officials knew about the misconduct of Mr. Regan and past indiscretions allegedly reported in another district.

Anastasia Stapon was an 18-year-old senior at the school during the 2018-19 school year when she said a mentor relationship developed with Mr. Regan. She said the principal would send her sexually charged text messages, videos and photos to her during and after school hours. She also said he forcibly kissed her during a meeting in his office.

Mr. Regan resigned in August 2019, the same month Ms. Stapon’s lawsuit, which alleges the principal used his authority to “sexually groom [her] for his harassment, sexual assault, battery and abuse,” was filed in federal court. A 200-page text message transcription was attached to the complaint, as were graphic photos sent by the principal to the student.

The lawsuit named as co-defendants with Mr. Regan and the school district several past administrators, including former superintendents Nancy Carney and Aurelia Henriquez, along with current and former members of the board of education.