Former student sues, says principal molested him in office

August 18, 2020 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former student of the Gresham-Barlow School District has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the district and former Deep Creek Elementary School principal Jeff Hays, saying he was sexually abused by Hays.

The former student is the fourth to report that Hays molested them, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Two of other students have settled claims against the district.

Portland attorneys Greg Kafoury and Jason Kafoury, who are representing the plaintiff in Tuesday’s lawsuit filed in Multnomah County District Court, also represented a woman who said Hays molested her in his office of the Damascus school when she was in the second, third and fourth grades from 2005 to 2009. In January, a Multnomah County civil jury awarded that former student $3 million.

The adult plaintiff in Tuesday’s suit is identified only by the initials K.A. His lawsuit states that Hays sexually abused him in 2007 and 2008 in his office.

The school district didn’t immediately respond to a request from the newspaper for comment. Hays couldn’t be reached for comment, and has previously invoked the Fifth Amendment and declined to answer questions in the case of the woman who won the civil jury verdict.

Jurors determined by a preponderance of evidence that Hays had molested her. That’s a lower threshold than the standard required in a criminal case -- guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Hays hasn’t been criminally charged in any of the cases. The criminal statute of limitations hasn’t run out and a Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office representative said Tuesday an investigation is ongoing.

Hays most recently worked as a principal for City View Charter School in Hillsboro. In 2018, he “mutually” agreed to “separate” from the school, school board meeting minutes show.