Crime

Former De Soto High School nurse accused of sexual relations with 16-year-old student

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Update: The superintendent of the De Soto school district said Tuesday he didn’t know the school nurse had been fired from a previous job under suspicion of inappropriate contact with a student. That story is posted here.

A former nurse at DeSoto High School is charged with having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student and is accused of making inappropriate sexual comments to female students who came into his office.

Richard Finazzo, 44, was charged in Johnson County District Court last month with sexual contact with a student last October while he was still employed with the district.

According to newly released court documents:

In October of 2018 Finazzo resigned from his position after concerns were raised about the amount of time students spent in his office and an inappropriate relationship with a specific student.

Finazzo allegedly admitted to the DeSoto principal that the 16-year-old had been to his house while experiencing anxiety and that the pair communicated via text, acccording to an affidavit filed with charging documents.

The student told officers that she started going to Finazzo’s office in August because of anxiety and depression.

In October she told police she met Finazzo twice and engaged in sexual activity.

Finazzo allegedly admitted to meeting the student but said he was only providing her counsel.

Multiple other female students told police that Finazzo had touched them inappropriately or made inappropriate comments when they had visited his office, according to the affidavit.

The students said Finazzo would buy gifts for female students, comment on their appearance and give them his phone number and Snapchat.

On some occasions he would speak to them about his own sex life and make sexual comments about injuries or illnesses they sought treatment for.

He allegedly told one student that her heels were “something a dominatrix would wear” and offered to do a photo shoot of her after she graduated.

Finazzo was fired from his job as a nurse at Gardner-Edgerton High School in 2016 because of suspicion of inappropriate contact with a student, according to court documents.

Alvie Cater, spokesperson for the DeSoto school district, said in a statement that the district is aware of the investigation but has no knowledge of the complaints.

“Our school’s administration followed protocol and immediately contacted law enforcement in October 2018 about a concern involving a former staff member,” the statement said. “The district stands ready to cooperate with the investigation if contacted by authorities.”

Finazzo is scheduled to appear in court on July 31.

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Katie Bernard covers Kansas crime, cops and courts for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star in May of 2019. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.
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