CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County teenager and her parents are suing a former classmate over alleged sexual harassment that took place at Sissonville High School.
The county's Board of Education and Sissonville principal Calvin McKinney are also blamed for not intervening in the suit, which was filed Sept. 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Chenoa Ellsworth, 16, says then-senior Bobby Parker began sexually harassing and physically abusing her in January. His grabs, she says, left bruises on her body.
When she reported the incident in February and showed the bruises to McKinney, the principal did not investigate her claim, the complaint says.
It adds that Ellsworth helped a friend who had been given a black eye by Parker come forward, but no action was taken against Parker.
"Defendant McKinney failed to intervene, investigate or otherwise fulfill his lawfully required duties to protect Plaintiff Chenoa Ellsworth from the sexual harassment and physical abuse," the complaint says.
Ellsworth further alleges that on April 28, Parker's advances were so intense that they caused her to have a panic attack and asthma attack at the same time. She says she was treated by paramedics at the nearby police station and was advised to file a complaint against Parker.
She says Parker "was grabbing her, restraining her and fondling her breasts and butt on an almost daily basis."
Ellsworth seeks compensatory and punitive damages and charges the defendants with assault and battery, intentional and negligent inflictions of emotional distress, negligent and/or reckless supervision and a violation of her human rights.
The Kanawha County Board of Education is already dealing with three other sexual harassment cases.
Jason Huber of Forman and Huber in Charleston is representing the plaintiffs.
Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker has been assigned the case.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2005