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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ind. Decisions - "Settlement reached in Muncie Central rape suit"

Douglas Walker reports in the Muncie Star-Press today:

MUNCIE — A lawsuit over a 2010 sexual assault at Central High School has been resolved.

Court documents reflect the victim of the attack, and her mother, have “amicably settled” their claims against defendants Muncie Community Schools, ex-MCS Supt. Eric King and former Central principal Chris Smith.

The terms of that out-of-court settlement were not detailed in the documents. Indianapolis attorney Cari L. Sheehan, who represented the assault victim and her mother, said Friday the terms of the deal were “confidential.”

Delaware Circuit Court 1 Judge Marianne Vorhees, meanwhile, has granted a motion for summary judgment against the lawsuit’s fourth defendant, Steven B. Moore, the Central student who assaulted the girl, then 16, in a bathroom at the high school on Nov. 9, 2010.

The request for summary judgment noted that Moore had pleaded guilty to criminal confinement and sexual battery. The Muncie man, now 19, received a four-year prison term, and has since been released.

The judge has scheduled an Oct. 9 hearing at which she will determine what damages should be assessed against Moore.

In the lawsuit, filed in July 2011, the victim’s mother alleged after he daughter reported to Central administrators that she had just been sexually assaulted in a school bathroom, then-principal Smith failed to immediately notify police, including off-duty officers working that day as Central security guards. Moore, meanwhile, was allowed to leave the school. * * *

In March 2012, Delaware Circuit Court 4 Judge Thomas Cannon Jr. found Smith guilty of a misdemeanor, failing to immediately report child abuse or neglect.

Last January, however, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned Smith’s conviction. The Indiana Supreme Court next month is set to hear arguments on a request by the state Attorney General’s office to reinstate the principal’s conviction.

For more information, see this March 8, 2013 ILB post, headed "State AG wants Smith conviction reinstated," which includes details of the 2-1 COA ruling, where the dissent writes that the verdict "undermines Indiana’s child-abuse reporting statute."

Here is the link to the upcoming, Oct. 31st, Supreme Court oral argument.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 21, 2013 10:21 AM
Posted to Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions