PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) — Two teenage girls claimed in a $20 million lawsuit Monday that their elementary school principal sexually abused them in his office years ago.
Jeff Hays was principal at Deep Creek Elementary School when the two girls, now 16 and 19, say he assaulted them dozens of times. Hays is now executive director of City View Charter School in Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland.
Plaintiff J.J. claims Hays abused her from 2005 to 2008, grooming her, and then “penetrating J.J.’s vagina during his private meetings with plaintiff, which numbered around 20 to 25 times over the three years.”
K.K. says he abused her from 2007 to 2009, “and took away K.K.’s innocence, trust, and happiness as a young girl.”
They sued Hays and Gresham-Barlow School District in Multnomah County Court, demanding $20 million for child sexual battery.
Both teens say Hays began abusing them when they were seven years old. Hays left his job at Deep Creek in June 2009. Both say he regularly summoned them to his office, where he abused them with the doors closed and the blinds drawn.
One mother at the school, who ran the booster club, told Hays he should not have closed-door meetings with young girls and forbade him from such meetings with her own daughter, according to the complaint. But that conversation didn’t stop Hays didn’t stop abusing the two girls in his office, they say in the lawsuit.
J.J., now 19, Hays would quiz her on math problems in his office, rest his hand on her leg and inch it up her thigh if she answered incorrectly. She says he told her she had to keep the abuse secret so her parents wouldn’t find out that she was “bad.”
School district spokeswoman Athena Vadnais said the district doesn’t comment on pending litigation. But she said the district had reviewed its files documenting Hays’ employment and did not find any complaints filed against him over the three years he worked at Deep Creek.
The teens are represented by Greg Kafoury, with Kafoury & McDougal.