Now Other School District Wants Petition Against It Dismissed

Sibley, Iowa — Now the other one of the co-defendants in the civil case brought against the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District on behalf of a boy who was allegedly sexually abused by a former teacher at the Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School — has asked the court to dismiss the petition against it as well.

The plaintiff in the civil case is a minor, identified only as “C.A.” and C.A.’s mother, “J.A.” The plaintiff alleges that he was sexually abused by former Sibley-Ocheyedan teacher and coach Kyle Ewinger. A criminal case charging Ewinger with Second Degree Sexual Abuse is scheduled to go to trial in December.

Late this summer, the plaintiffs added to the suit, two other school districts where Ewinger was employed. They listed alleged questionable acts in those districts, and said that they too were negligent in not alerting future employers of this conduct, which could have prevented the eventual alleged sexual assault of the victim. The other schools named are the Mediapolis Community School District and the Sioux City Community School District.

The Mediapolis Community School District requested that the case against it be dismissed on October 4th. Now the Sioux City Community School District — or “SCCSD” — wants the case against it dismissed on similar grounds.

In the motion to dismiss, the attorney for the Sioux City Community School District, Douglas Phillips, lists several reasons for dismissal. He says SCCSD is not liable for the acts of another district’s employee. He says that the plaintiffs allege that SCCSD is negligent for failure to investigate and report an alleged incident involving Ewinger in 2010, but the State of Iowa does not recognize a claim for negligent investigation, and Phillips writes that there is no statutory or common law duty to report in this context.

He goes on to write that SCCSD owed no duty to the plaintiffs with respect to Ewinger. He says the only duties would have arisen from a request for information from Sibley Ocheyedan or Ewinger.

While Ewinger’s criminal trial is scheduled to take place in December, the civil suit against the school districts is scheduled to go to trial about a year from now, on October 23rd, 2018 at the Osceola County Courthouse in Sibley.

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