Friday, December 01, 2000

Lawsuit says boy, 16, was molested by teacher

School board blamed for hiring instructor

The Associated Press

        VERSAILLES, Ky. — A 16-year-old boy claims in a federal lawsuit that he was molested by a high school special-education teacher.

        The suit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, alleges that Woodford County officials should never have hired Pat Douglas Davis, 48, a former assistant attorney general who worked as a special-education teacher at Woodford High School last year.

        Ms. Davis was fired within days after now-retired Woodford County Superintendent Charles Dowler heard the boy's complaint, according to the board's attorney, Bob Chenoweth of Frankfort.

        But the lawsuit still names the Woodford County Board of Education, and not Ms. Davis, who had a history of serious problems and “professional misconduct,” the lawsuit said.

        “We directed our lawsuit against the school board because we felt they had been negligent in hiring her and negligent in not properly supervising her,” said the boy's attorney, Henry E. Davis. “They did not provide a safe environment.”

        Mr. Davis would not say why the boy was in special-education classes. He said the boy is not physically disabled.

        Ms. Davis was an assistant attorney general in 1978 and 1979, then went into private practice in Versailles. The state Supreme Court suspended her license in 1993 and 1994 after she was twice sued for malpractice, according to court records. The state bar association said the license remains suspended and Ms. Davis does not practice.

        Ms. Davis also had judgments issued against her after she failed to pay debts and has a domestic violence charge on her record.

        The lawsuit said that Ms. Davis taught the boy English, U.S. history and math at Woodford County High. In September 1999, the suit said, she invited the boy to go horseback riding. The suit alleged that, during the visit, Ms. Davis had sexual contact with the boy.

        The pair had several other sexual encounters in the fall, and Ms. Davis bought the boy beer and tobacco, the suit said. In December, the boy's mother complained to the school board. Soon thereafter, Ms. Davis was fired, Mr. Chenoweth said.


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