Ottawa Hills school district sued for $100 million in employee rape case
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The parents of two rape victims of an Ottawa Hills school maintenance manager filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday asking for $100 million in damages.
Timothy and Michelle Sprott and Hal and Lisa Burke filed the lawsuit on behalf of their sons, listed by their initials.
The lawsuit is against the school district, the district board of education, the perpetrator, Ronald Stevens, and his wife Kristie Stevens, who allegedly helped conceal his crimes.
“For this district to tell us and to tell parents in this community and surrounding communities that it bares zero percent responsibility for what their employee did to these students at their school is an outrage,” said an attorney for the victims, Nicholas DiCello, at Monday’s news conference following the suit.
Along with punitive damages and attorneys’ fees, the lawsuit asks for “Compensatory damages, including legal fees and costs, in an amount that will fully and fairly compensate the Plaintiffs for the harms and losses they suffered, including physical and emotional injuries, in an amount exceeding $100,000,000;”
While the school would not go into specifics of the case, superintendent Adam Fineske issued a statement saying the district would “vigorously defend any allegations suggesting that Ottawa Hills Local School District as a District, or any of its Board members, administrators, or educators, individually, bear any culpability for the allegations contained in the Amended Complaint.”
The administration and Board of Ottawa Hills Local School District are aware that an Amended Complaint has been filed in the pending lawsuit brought by three current or former students and their parents related to conduct of former District employee Ronald Stevens.
The matter is in litigation, and therefore, neither the administration, nor the Board, nor any individual Board members or employees are at liberty to speak about the specifics of the claims.
The Board and administration reiterate, however, that all of those in authority at Ottawa Hills Local School District were shocked, surprised, outraged, and saddened when made aware through Mr. Stevens’ arrest and prosecution of his secret and hidden criminal behavior. Mr. Stevens bears full responsibility for the criminal acts for which he has been convicted and sentenced.
Therefore, while our thoughts continue to be with the students and families, Ottawa Hills Local School District will vigorously defend any allegations suggesting that Ottawa Hills Local School District as a District, or any of its Board members, administrators, or educators, individually, bear any culpability for the allegations contained in the Amended Complaint.
You can read the complaint in its entirety below:
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