Civil trial over alleged sex abuse at Creswell school set to start Tuesday

The $1 million lawsuit claims the school did not investigate the aide or take appropriate action when told about his suspicious behavior.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 6:34 PM
Updated: Sep 20, 2019 9:26 AM

CRESWELL, Ore. -- A civil trial against the Creswell School District and a former staff member convicted of sex crimes is set to start next Tuesday, according to officials with the Lane County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit, filed by the guardian of a now 9-year-old girl with special needs, accuses her medical aide at Creslane Elementary School, James Warren, of sexually abusing her multiple times during winter 2016. It alleges the school district did not investigate Warren or take appropriate action when they were told about his suspicious behavior.

Court documents claim the abuse happened in the bathroom of the life skills classroom at Creslane Elementary. They allege other adults in the classroom should have seen Warren going into the bathroom with the girl.

Warren hasn't been charged with any crimes in connection to the allegations in the civil lawsuit.

Court records show he is currently serving a 22-and-a-half year sentence at Snake River Correctional Facility in Ontario, Oregon, for a separate sex abuse case involving a girl under the age of 14. In that case, Warren pleaded guilty in April 2018 to five separate sex crime charges, including first-degree rape and sodomy. 

The suit is seeking more than $1 million. They are requesting a jury trial.

Officials at Lane County Circuit Court say the civil trial is set to start on Sept. 24. Another hearing on the case is scheduled for Friday.

Creswell School Superintendent Mike Johnson said he couldn't discuss personnel matters and ongoing litigation.

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