HAMMOND | A federal judge has denied a former Crown Point teacher's request to dismiss part of a lawsuit filed by a student who claims the teacher sexually harassed her.
U.S. District Chief Judge Philip Simon denied Brett Crutchfield's request to dismiss portions of the federal suit that claims he sexually harassed a then-17-year-old Crown Point High School student.
The suit — filed in July 2012 — made claims against Crutchfield and the Crown Point Community School Corp., including gross negligence, child seduction, battery, assault, false imprisonment and negligent hiring, training and supervision.
The lawsuit alleges "Crutchfield aggressively grabbed plaintiff's hand and pulled her body to his, then forcibly kissing her with an open mouth," documents state.
Crutchfield denied the allegations and last month sought to have some claims tossed, saying it's clear he is being sued "because of allegations associated with his role as plaintiff's teacher." Because of that, he said, a tort claim notice should have been filed to to properly sue him, and it was not.
However, Judge Simon wrote case law helps show "there is no way at this point in the litigation that anyone could definitively conclude that Crutchfield was acting within the scope of his employment."
Crutchfield resigned from Crown Point and took a job as a science teacher and head baseball coach in Arcadia, Fla. He was fired from that position this past spring after the district there investigated the Crown Point allegations, according to an article in the Arcadian newspaper.