Lee County School Board considers settlement with victim in teacher sexual abuse case

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

The Lee County School Board is currently considering a settlement with a ‘Jane Doe’ in a teacher sex abuse case.

“We’re looking for justice and accountability,” said Attorney Dennis Webb in a 2019 interview with WINK News. Webb represents the victim and former student.

In his lawsuit against The  School District of Lee County, Webb says former Mariner High School Teacher James Harris should’ve never been allowed in a classroom, let alone anywhere near his client.

The lawsuit states that Harris would summon the 17-year-old girl from another class to have sex on the floor and desk of his classroom.

“What makes this situation worse is that this same predator who is now in prison, that he had done the same thing to another student,” Webb said.

The lawsuit also calls the school board ‘negligent’  and claims that were ‘aware or should have become aware’ that Harris was not fit to be a teacher.

This is because seven years earlier Harris got a different student pregnant. That student gave birth six months after her graduation. She then filed for child support and the judge ordered the District to withdraw that child support from Harris’ paycheck.

“There was certainly enough that somebody should’ve looked into it,” Webb urged.

Harris is now serving 11 years in prison for his sexual abuse crimes against Jane Doe. When Harris was sent to prison, the district denied knowing he had fathered a child. The district wasn’t offering comments today.

Insurance will cover the cost of the settlement for Jane Doe, not taxpayer dollars.

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