SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (CN) - A third-grade teacher lured little boys with candy and sexually abused them by "disciplining" them in a classroom closet, parents claim in two federal complaints.
Both lawsuits against Dallas County R-I School District paint its former teacher Ralph Eugene Moyle as a classic pedophile. Moyle has pleaded guilty to sodomy, felonious sexual contact with a student on school property, and possession of child pornography, according to the complaints.
The only defendant in both cases is the school district itself, though both complaints name, and take to task, Superintendent Robin Ritchie and Long Lane Elementary School Principal Gina Hohensee, who allegedly had reason to believe Moyle was a pedophile but failed to stop him.
Long Lane is a small school of about 90 students. Both plaintiffs filed under the name John Doe.
According to one complaint, T.L., the father of student P.L. repeatedly reported to Hohensee's office that he suspected Moyle was a pedophile, to no avail.
The complaint states: "In February, 2011, P.L. reported to Principal Hohensee that Moyle followed him into the bathroom, walked over to him at the urinal, and stared at his penis, making him feel insecure and uncomfortable. This happened on multiple occasions. In February, 2011, P.L. also reported to his father that Moyle had been 'peeping' at his exposed penis. T.L. immediately reported to Principal Hohensee that Moyle, without any reason to be in the bathroom with a student, 'peeped' at his son's penis at the bathroom urinal. T.L. demanded that this behavior stop. Upon information and belief, Principal Hohensee took no action in response to P.L's or his father's complaints.
"P.L. also received inappropriate Facebook messages from Moyle, which was reported to Principal Hohensee by T.L. when P.L. was in third grade. Despite this report, upon information and belief, Moyle was not reprimanded or otherwise investigated, and he continued to send inappropriate messages through Facebook to P.L.
"Another boy from the school, J.C., generally went home with Moyle after school every day. Many times, J.C. spent the night with Moyle, who lived alone and had no children of his own. Upon information and belief, these facts were known to Principal Hohensee, who condoned and ratified Moyle having a student stay overnight in his residence.
"Principal Hohensee and the School District failed to take any action in response to the notice received of a risk of sexual misconduct by Moyle. She continued to give Moyle access to students without warning, limit or restraint.
"Upon information and belief, it was known to Principal Hohensee and other administrators or staff of Long Lane that Moyle chose to 'discipline' his male students differently than female students. Moyle would discipline girls by calling them to his desk for a verbal reprimand. Moyle disciplined male students by directing them to go with him into the classroom closet. Upon information and belief, Moyle sexually abused male students when he was alone with them in this manner. At the same time, Moyle stored candy in the classroom closet, which was known to the students. Moyle used the candy to lure boys into the classroom closet, where he sexually abused them.
"At all relevant times, upon information and belief, Ms. Hohensee knew that Moyle had pedophilia proclivities and posed a grave risk of danger to male students entrusted to his care if he were allowed one-on-one unsupervised or unobserved access to the students.
"Upon information and belief, Moyle sexually abused numerous students while a teacher employed by the School District over a period of years. He has plead[ed] guilty to three counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, two counts of felonious sexual contact with a student on school property, and one count of possession of child pornography.
"At all relevant times after the reports described above, Ms. Hohensee and other administrators or staff with actual knowledge of the danger posed by Moyle had the power and authority to engage in corrective measures to prevent Moyle from sexually molesting children at Long Lane, and failed to engage in any such corrective measures.
"On or about April 18, 2011, John Doe's fourth grade teacher left early for the day and combined her class with Moyle's class. At that time, Moyle brought John Doe into the classroom closet and bathroom and engaged him in sexual behavior. This followed several weeks of sexual harassment and vulgar conversation by Moyle directed toward John Doe."
Both families seek punitive damages for negligence and Title IX violations.
Both are represented by Kenneth Chackes, with Chackes, Carlson & Halquist, of St. Louis.
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