Girl sues Crown Point schools, former teacher for sexual harassment, related actions

2012-07-09T22:00:00Z 2013-04-23T19:31:07Z Girl sues Crown Point schools, former teacher for sexual harassment, related actionsBy Steve Hanlon and Lindsay Machak Times Staff Writers nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | The Crown Point Community School Corp. and former employee Brett Crutchfield are being sued in the aftermath of allegations the former teacher and softball coach sexually harassed a student during the past school year.

A civil lawsuit was submitted Monday and was expected to have been filed Tuesday in federal court alleging the plaintiff, then a 17-year-old Crown Point High School student, was sexually harassed, among other allegations.

The lawsuit makes 11 claims against Crutchfield and the school district including gross negligence, child seduction, battery, assault, false imprisonment and negligent hiring, training and supervision.

Crown Point school administrators had ample opportunities to intervene but did nothing, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims Crutchfield, using a school-issued email account, asked the girl about her sexual relationships. The lawsuit alleges Crutchfield wrote inappropriate text messages such as "you have the best body" and "you are mature for your age," documents state.

Crutchfield sent two images to the girl displaying full frontal nudity, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleges "Crutchfield aggressively grabbed Plaintiff's hand and pulled her body to his, then forcibly kissing her with an open mouth ..." in February, documents state.

The same evening, the girl alleges Crutchfield sent text messages "demanding" that she come to his house to have sexual intercourse with him. Looking for an excuse to not go, she sent a message back saying she did not want to come over because Crutchfield's children were home, the complaint states.

Crutchfield informed the girl his kids could "sleep through anything," according to documents.

"No comment," Crutchfield said when reached on his cellphone Monday night.

Crutchfield was a science teacher and softball coach at Crown Point High School. He was escorted out of the building April 13 and put on paid leave while the investigation of misconduct continued.

He resigned from the school May 4.

Attempts to reach Crown Point Athletic Director Bill Dorulla were unsuccessful.

The plaintiff is being represented by the Bach Law Firm. No exact dollar amount of damages being sought has been finalized, attorney Jason Bach said. His Las Vegas-based law firm represents parents and students in legal matters against educational facilities across the nation.

"It's important to point out that this is not just against one teacher," Bach said Monday. "The school district had many opportunities to stop this from happening and they did not."

The girl was a student in Crutchfield's science class and the complaint alleges as the inappropriate flirtation escalated the school granted a request from Crutchfield to transfer the student to his study hall, too.

Former Crown Point High School Principal Eric Ban, who left to take a position with another company this month, did not return a call Monday night seeking comment.

On April 16, the girl informed school officials she was being tormented and bullied throughout the day at the school, the lawsuit says. The school administration told the girl "the school could not protect her safety and well being and requested that Plaintiff withdraw from the school," according to the lawsuit.

She was then placed in an alternative school.

The lawsuit alleges the girl "suffered extreme psychological injuries" and is taking part in psychological treatment and therapy as a result of the school district's and Crutchfield's actions.

Crown Point Community School Corp. officials also did not return The Times' phone calls Monday night.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



About Crown Point



City Hall
101 N. East Street
Crown Point, Ind. 46307
(219) 662-3240

Police Department
124 N. East Street
Crown Point, Ind. 46307
(219) 663-2131

Fire Department
126 N. East Street
Crown Point, Ind. 46307
(219) 662-3248

Crown Point Community Schools
200 E. North Street
Crown Point, Ind. 46307
(219) 663-3371

Crown Point Parks and Recreation
11065 Broadway, Suite F
Crown Point, Ind. 46307
(219) 661-2271