Student Says Town Cop Executed Vendetta
HILLSBORO, Ore. (CN) - An Oregon police officer choked, threatened and falsely arrested a high school student after finding out his schoolteacher wife was having sex with him, the student claims in court.
Former Sherwood High School teacher Denise Keesee was sentenced last week to a month in jail and 5 years probation after admitting in a plea deal that she sexually abused one of her students.
Sherwood is in Washington County southwest of Portland.
Keesee was facing six counts of second-degree sex abuse, and admitted to two of the counts involving one student.
Just days after Keesee's sentencing, the boy, J.M.O., sued her husband Adam Keesee, a Sherwood police officer, claiming the man assaulted and battered and falsely arrested and imprisoned him.
The Clackamas County District Attorney's office investigated Officer Keesee, who has been on leave since June 2013, and found there was "bad blood" between Keesee and the student.
"Officer Keesee's conduct was motivated by personal gain and designed to harm (the student)," Deputy District Attorney Brian Brock wrote in a report this year, according to The Oregonian newspaper.
Despite this, the investigation cleared Keesee of official misconduct.
"While his conduct is unprofessional and may fall under some general policy dealing with ethics and professionalism, nothing specifically prohibits this conduct such that one could say Officer Keesee knowingly committed an unauthorized act," Brock wrote in the report, according to The Oregonian.
In his lawsuit in Washington County Court, the student says Officer Keesee had a duty to report the sex abuse once he found out about it.
Instead, the officer used his position "to intimidate, threaten, ridicule, assault, batter, and falsely imprison" the student in a series of incidents between 2007 and 2009, the student claims.
One time, the student says, he was at a school football game carrying a cell phone in his back pocket.
Keesee "tackled" him, "dug his knee into" his back and searched him, claiming that he thought the phone was a gun, the student says in the complaint.
Keesee then "walked him handcuffed in front of other students and their parents and friends, directly past a line of teachers and administrators, thoroughly embarrassing [him] and putting [him] on display as if [he] were a criminal," the complaint states.
In another incident, Keesee detained the student, put him in a holding cell, took a photo of him and sent it to his wife, the student claims.
Denise Keesee then had the photo printed and enlarged, displayed it in her debate class and asked her students to debate whether the person in the photo was a drug dealer, J.M.O. says in the lawsuit.
"When plaintiff returned to school he was approached by a number of his peers who informed him of his picture being posted in Mrs. Keesee's debate class," the complaint states.
Another time, Officer Keesee choked the student while another officer was serving him with a protective order.
"As defendant Adam Keesee's hands squeezed around plaintiff's neck, defendant Adam Keesee yelled that if plaintiff had anything to say to him, that he should say it to his face, that he could kick plaintiff's 'ass,' 'badge or no badge,'" the complaint states.
It continues: "Plaintiff was scared and without air. At the point when plaintiff was beginning to turn purple from lack of oxygen, the other defendant, John Doe, police officer, then just a new officer on the force, intervened and told defendant Adam Keesee to back off. Defendant Adam Keesee then released his grip and left the scene."
Then, J.M.O. claims, his father took him to the police station and told him to apologize to Keesee: "After the incident when defendant Adam Keesee choked plaintiff, plaintiff's father brought plaintiff to the police station to have plaintiff apologize for having upset defendant Adam Keesee in order to put an end to the harassment and abuse. ... After plaintiff spoke his words of hopeful conciliation, defendant Adam Keesee looked directly at plaintiff and said, 'I don't care. I'm going to burn you every chance I get.'"
J.M.O. sued Keesee, the City of Sherwood, and John Does 1-5 for violations of civil rights, assault and battery, false arrest, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He seeks $1.5 million in damages.
He is represented by Craig A. Nichols of Nichols & Associates.