Mason couple accuses CSX of employing child predator

By Lawrence Smith | Aug 26, 2010


POINT PLEASANT -– A Mason County couple alleges CSX Transportation looked the other way regarding complaints that one of its employees was a sexual predator until he was eventually caught assaulting their daughter.

CSX is named as a co-defendant in negligent hiring lawsuit in Mason Circuit Court. In the complaint filed Aug. 3, a couple from Mason alleges CSX had knowledge one if its employees, Tony B. Rainey, had "a lustful disposition towards children", but allowed him to work for the company until he was arrested two years ago.

In their suit, the couple -– who are only identified by their initials C.H. and T.H. –- allege that Rainey "did sexually abuse, batter, and indecently expose himself to P.H.", the couple's then-11-year-old daughter, on Aug. 4, 2008. At the time, Rainey, then a resident of Apple Grove, "was employed to perform maintenance and other duties" for CSX.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the West Virginia State Police, Rainey showed up to C.H.'s and T.H.'s house unannounced around 2:45 p.m. At the time, only P.H. was home.

For reasons not stated, Rainey was able to convince P.H. to allow him into the home. After he gained entry, the complaint alleges he dropped his pants and touched P.H.'s breasts.

Immediately, P.H. ran and hid in her parent's room, and later called her mother. Shortly thereafter, Rainey left the scene.

According to court records, officers from the Mason Police Department were called to the house. However, believing the home to be outside the city limits, MPD called the State Police, who took T.H. and P.H's statement.

Later that evening around 9:30 p.m., Rainey returned to C.H. and T.H's home. He was arrested without incident.

According to the complaint, Rainey gave "a complete confession" to Cpl. Zerkle.

Rainey, records show, was later indicted in January 2009 by the Mason County grand jury on two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, a felony, and one count of indecent exposure, a misdemeanor. Last August, Rainey agreed to plead guilty to one count of sexual abuse in exchange for the state dismissing the other sexual abuse, and indecent exposure charge.

Before imposing sentence, Judge David W. Nibert on Oct. 22 ordered Rainey to undergo a 60-day psychiatric evaluation at the Anthony Correctional Center near White Sulphur Springs. However, Rainey would not complete his evaluation as he died on Nov. 14.

No reason is given in either the criminal case or C.H. and T.H.'s suit as to how Rainey died. He was 58.

In their suit, C.H. and T.H. allege that CSX, including Rainey's supervisor –- identified as John Doe I -– the human resources manager –- indentified as John Doe II -– and Kenny Parsons -– a CSX special agent based in Grafton -– knew Rainey "had a propensity to and would sexually assault, sexually abuse, sexually harass, and/or expose himself to minor children, such as P.H." They also allege the defendants "had previous complaints regarding Tony B. Rainey's questionable mental health, sexual deviant behavior, and/or other strange behavior."

The suit names John Does I and II, Parsons and Rainey's estate as co-defendants.

Along with negligent hiring and supervision, C.H. and T.H. make claims against the defendants for assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. As a result of Rainey's criminal actions, they allege both they and P.H. have incurred "pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, medical expenses, embarrassment, humiliation, damage to their reputations, annoyance and inconvenience, time missed from work, loss of enjoyment of their usual pursuits and other general damages."

Along with unspecified damages, court costs and attorney fees, C.H. and T.H. seek a court order enjoining the defendants from influencing or intimidating potential witnesses, and committing any acts of retaliation against them. They are represented by former Kanawha County Prosecutor William C. Forbes and W. Jesse Forbes.

The case is assigned to Nibert.

Mason Circuit Court case number 10-C-88

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