Boy Accused in Third Sexual Abuse Case By Cochran Douglas on December 28, 2016

Tacoma — A lawsuit filed this month alleges the Bethel School District failed to protect a female special-needs student from a special-needs classmate who sexually abused her in 2012 at Bethel High School.

The alleged abuser was involved in two abuse cases at his previous school district, Clover Park, according to Loren Cochran, attorney for the plaintiffs in the most recent suit.

The plaintiffs are named only by initials in court documents.

The first case occurred at Lochburn Middle School in Lakewood in 2011, when the boy — then 13 — led a special needs girl into a restroom and tried to rape her, according to records in the case.

Lakewood police investigated, but no criminal charges were filed.

The boy, described as developmentally disabled, was expelled and transferred to Hudtloff Middle School, where he was accused months later of sexually assaulting a boy.

A jury ordered the Clover Park School District to pay damages in the first case, and the district settled with the plaintiff in the second.

The boy accused in both cases later transferred to the Bethel School District, where officials said they would ensure the safety of the teen and other students.

The December lawsuit in Pierce County Superior Court contends the district failed to protect the boy’s Bethel classmate.

The suit alleges other incidents occurred on the school grounds.

“This particular case is the third in a line of cases, all involving the same special-needs student,” Cochran said.

Jerry Moberg, attorney for the school district, said he didn’t want to comment on the complaint.

According to the most recent lawsuit, the abuse occurred during a physical education class in 2012.

Documents state he took the girl by the hand, led her across the Bethel High School football field and into a portable toilet, where he sexually abused her.

Debbie Cafazzo, The New Tribune as reported in the Columbian



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