Brazen Teacher, in Prison, Faces Civil Suit

     PHOENIX (CN) — A suburban Phoenix high school teacher serving 20 years for sexually assaulting two girls and videotaping it faces a civil lawsuit from one of his victims.
     The girl, now an adult, sued Werner Girard and the Peoria Unified School District on Monday in Maricopa County Court. Peoria is about 30 minutes northwest of Phoenix.
     The plaintiff, B.K., was a student in Girard’s drama class at Peoria High School. He invited her and another underage girl to his house in April 2014 and gave them alcoholic drinks “possibly with a ‘date rape’ drug,” the complaint states.
     While the girls were passed out, Girard undressed them, “engaged in sexual acts, and videotaped the encounters,” according to the lawsuit.
     Girard, then 37, showed the videos to at least two other students or former students at Peoria High School, B.K. says.
     Girard was arrested in May 2015. He pleaded guilty in June to three counts of sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison and lifetime probation.
     B.K., a special needs student, says the school district knew or should have known Girard acted inappropriately with students: hugging them, commenting on their bodies and telling them he loved them.
     Other students and parents complained about him to high school administrators, “and at least one had accused him of improper touching of a student,” according to the lawsuit.
     Girard served alcohol to his students and “had regular inappropriate contacts with students, including off campus meetings, becoming Facebook friends, and conducting private messaging through Facebook and other platforms,” the complaint states.
     Peoria Unified School District declined comment Tuesday, saying it had not yet been served.
     B.K. seeks punitive damages on 21 counts, including Title IX and other civil rights violations, negligence, assault, battery, negligent hiring and supervision, emotional distress, and privacy invasion.
     She is represented by Kevin Garrison of Peoria.

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