Victim files suit against convicted coach

The victim of former Mazama High School volleyball coach Robert Lloyd Thompson has filed a civil suit against Thompson, the Klamath County School District and several district employees. The suit is seeking at least $1 million in damages for sexual abuse, false imprisonment and negligence.

Thompson, 54, was arrested in July of 2012. Twenty-five criminal charges were filed against him, including 23 second-degree sexual abuse charges, first-degree burglary and tampering with a witness.

Most of the charges were dropped when Thompson made a deal to plead guilty to two of the sexual abuse charges for sexual contact that occurred between April and July of 2012. The victim was a former student he had coached.

According to paperwork filed Jan. 28 with the U.S. District Court in Medford, the victim (identified as "Jane Doe") is seeking the damages for violations of her civil rights under various clauses of several amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The suit names Thompson as a defendant, along with the school district and three district employees, Superintendent Greg Thede, former MHS principal Terry Bennett and Vice-Principal/Athletic Director Randy Rose.

Jane Doe is being represented by Thomas Petersen of the Medford-based law firm Black, Chapman, Webber & Stevens. According to Thede, the school district has a lawyer on retainer through its insurance provider, the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO).

SDAO, among other functions, provides insurance coverage for public entities and school districts, Thede said.

"Until we have the opportunity to look at the suit itself, it would be premature for me to comment on it," he said. "We had been alerted it was going to be filed."

The documents filed Tuesday say Jane Doe is entitled to damages not to exceed $2 million, but it is noted in the filing that damages above that figure could be sought if more information comes to light during legal proceedings. A demand for a jury trial in federal district court is included in the paperwork.

Ten claims are listed, some against only Thompson, some against only the school district, some against all the defendants. Petersen's filing accuses the district of negligent behavior for allowing Thompson unsupervised access to Jane Doe and other underage female students.

Each of the district employees named in the lawsuit "had a duty to educate, train and supervise Thompson to avoid sexually abusing or harassing female students "¦ (they) elected not to educate, train or supervise Thompson pursuant to said duty," the suit says.

An initial court date on the lawsuit has not been scheduled. The defendants have 21 days from Jan. 28 to respond to the suit.

Thompson was sentenced to two years in prison Sept. 11, 2012, with three years of community supervision after his release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.

He is being held at the Shutter Creek Correctional Institution in North Bend, where his earliest release date is listed as July 22, 2014.

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