SHERWOOD, Ore. -- A former Sherwood student has sued a female teacher and the school district, alleging that she sexually abused him and then her policeman husband threatened him with a gun.
The $5.1 million lawsuit was filed against the Sherwood School District and former teacher Denise Keesee on behalf of a man who was a 15-year-old special ed student at the time.
Attorney Randall Vogt, who filed the suit, said the teacher made sexual contact with the boy, but the boy did not realize it was abuse until he spoke with someone in the Washington County district attorney's office last spring.
Keesee is facing six counts of second-degree sexual abuse for alleged abuse of two boys.
The suit was first reported by the Oregonian and claims Keesee, a special education and math teacher, groomed and then sexually abused the plaintiff, who thought he was having a romance with Keesee. He was placed in her class due to learning disabilities.
The defendant was at the school from fall 2006 until spring 2007, the suit said. He is dyslexic, with learning disabilities and a low IQ, which makes him vulnerable to manipulation, Vogt wrote.
Keesee gave the student inordinate attention and one day touched his thigh in class. This led soon to kissing and sexual contact on and off campus, according to the suit.
The suit also names the Sherwood School District, because Keesee allegedly abused the child while taking advantage of her position in the district. The student claims he reported the allegations to the district officials and Vogt said the officials took no action.
At the time, Keesee's husband was the Sherwood police department liaison at the school.
The suit alleges that Denise Keesee told her husband about the sexual contact. The officer then began harassing the student, allegedly pulling him over and pointing his firearm at the student. The student left the district out of fear of the policeman, the suit said.
Keesee's husband has not been accused of any crime. Tuesday afternoon, after the lawsuit was filed, the Sherwood Police Department placed him on administrative leave.
Vogt says the boy, now 21, suffers from the kinds of injuries that stem from being sexually abused by an older person in a position of trust.