LOGAN – A former student is suing the Logan County Board of Education after she claims she was sexually abused by a teacher.
Ryan Waugh also was named as a defendant in the suit.
K.H. was sexually abused by Waugh, who was a teacher at Logan High School, according to a complaint filed Jan. 19 in Logan Circuit Court.
K.H. claims by the time Waugh had targeted her, it had already been well known that Waugh had been in a two-year relationship with another student, known as S.C.
Had the board acted on its actual and constructive knowledge of Waugh’s dangerous behavior, it could have prevented exposing K.H. and other students to acts of sexual misconduct, according to the suit. However, the board failed to do so.
K.H. claims Waugh’s abuse began in 2015, during the beginning of the second semester of her senior year.
Unbeknownst to K.H., during this same time period, S.C. was attempting to distance herself from Waugh and Waugh began to target K.H. first by messaging her on her Twitter account, according to the suit. Waugh’s messages were not initially sexual in nature, however, once he had secured her trust, he began sending her messages that were sexually explicit in nature.
K.H. claims she was confused and severely distressed by Waugh’s first sexual message and that it made going to school extremely stressful and she did her best to avoid him.
When K.H. did not immediately report Waugh to the authorities, he stepped up his illegal sexual communications with her and began sending her sexual messages via text and social media on a more frequent basis, according to the suit.
K.H. claims in the days that followed, Waugh began to act out on his sexual desire for her. While she was attending a basketball game that he was also in attendance, Waugh overheard another male student say something about her and he became jealous and possessive and forbade K.H. from speaking to the male student again.
The plaintiff was again confused and distressed by Waugh’s behavior and Waugh directed her to leave the game and go with him to his classroom so that they could “talk” about the incident, according to the suit.
K.H. claims in his classroom, Waugh ordered her to sit on his lap and when she did not comply and attempted to return to the basketball game, he grabbed her arm and physically prevented her from leaving.
Waugh then proceeded to kiss and grope K.H. under her clothing, according to the suit. K.H. was so frightened and confused by what happened that she did not tell anyone about the encounter.
K.H. claims a few weeks later, Waugh lured her to his office after hours and indicated to her that he wanted to have sex with her, to which she did not comply. When he persisted, she continued to protest and once again tried to escape his office.
“Waugh would not be denied and he eventually was successful in having sexual intercourse with K.H., which she did not want,” the complaint states.
The board was negligent and breached its fiduciary duty when it recklessly and negligently exposed K.H. to Waugh, knowing that he was a dangerous sexual predator, according to the suit.
K.H. is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Robert P. Lorea, Mary Pat Statler and Katherine E. Charonko of Bailey & Glasser LLP.
Logan Circuit Court case number: 17-C-34