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The former Carrollton Junior High teacher charged with two counts of Violating an Order of Protection, one of which concerned a minor, in February of last year, is now being sued in Sangamon County Circuit Court by a former student when he was employed as a teacher and coach at Riverton High School.
The lawsuit names and seeks damages from Carrollton resident Kyle Price, who at the time the alleged incidents took place was a Riverton High School teacher and head coach. The suit also seeks damages from the Riverton Community Unit School District #14 Board of Education, Riverton former High School Principal Bill Lamkey and Riverton High School Guidance Counselor Tamara Sturdy.
The alleged incidents named in the lawsuit took place between 2001-2004 and the petitioner in the lawsuit, at that time, was 15 years old and a minor. Therefore, the Court granted a Petition for Leave to Appear Under Fictitious Name (Jane Doe) specifically because “the complaint against respondents relates to issues concerning sexual assault and rape of a minor.”
The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 29 and Doe is being represented by Belleville attorneys Jarrod Beasley and Matthew Young. Doe was a student at Riverton High School between the years of 2000 and 2004.
According to the 24-page court document, the alleged sexual grooming and sexual abuse of the 15-year-old Doe by Price began in 2001 when she was a sophomore and continued until she graduated in 2004. At the time, Price was employed as a social studies teacher and girls’ head basketball coach at Riverton High School.
According to the court documents, the sexual grooming and abuse began around January of 2001 when Doe was 15 and Price was in his 30’s, when “while at a family party with Doe, Price tried to kiss Doe.”
During the remainder of the winter of 2001, and continuing through Doe’s tenure as a student, Price “regularly kissed, hugged and fondled her while the two of them were alone at both school and on school trips.”
In 2001, while Doe was just 15, Price allegedly “took Doe to his bedroom to sexually assault her.” This continued throughout 2004.
Also in 2001, while alone with Price in his house, Price allegedly “had sexual intercourse with Doe for the first time.” He is alleged to have continued to have had sexual intercourse with Doe on a regular basies both on school trips and at his residence.
The lawsuit alleges that beginning in 2001 and throughout the remainder of her tenure as a student, Price used his authority as the victim’s coach and teacher to “perpetuate acts against Doe including:
■ Isolating Doe from her fellow teachers and students for the purpose of committing acts of sexual grooming and/or sexual abuse.
■ Directing Doe to come to his house for purposes of sexual abuse and soliciting sex from Doe.
■ Harassing Doe at dances and other school functions for having dates with fellow students.
■ Denigrating and humiliating Doe for the purpose of making her susceptible to sexual abuse and to prevent her from discussing their sexual relationship with her friends and family members.
The acts of sexual grooming, acts of sexual abuse and the intentional acts occurred while Doe was under the control of Price as an employee of the Board of Education. The Board of Education were aware of information, reports, rumors, complaints and allegations concerning Price’s sexual misconduct with Doe.
The documents go on to say that at various times during the 2001-2004 school years, agents and employees of the Board of Education were made aware of Price sexual misconduct to Doe and in doing so, “suggested to Doe that she was to blame for Price’s sexual misconduct, that it was a misunderstanding and/or admonished Doe to remain quiet about the relationship lest she would cause Price to lose his job at Riverton High School.”
Shortly after the initial assault in January of 2001, Doe allegedly reported the behavior to Tamara Sturdy, a guidance counselor. Ms. Sturdy told Doe the matter must be reported. However, rather then report the matter to DCFS, Sturdy allegedly only reported it to Bill Lamkey, the principal.
Shortly after this, a meeting was held with Lamkey, Sturdy, Price and Doe’s parents. Lamkey was made aware of Doe being uncomfortable around Price and the things he was doing to groom her. No investigation was done and DCFS was not notified.
Sometime later, in 2003-2004, Doe confided in a teacher at the Riverton Middle School, who was also the Assistant Basketball Coach at the high school, through a letter, what was going on with Price. This teacher reported the contents of the letter to Fred Lamkey, the principal at the middle school.
The letter was placed in the teacher’s desk. The teacher was called down to Fred Lamkey’s office and she told him what she knew. Lamkey told her to retrieve the letter, but the letter was no longer there.
At this meeting “this teacher was told not to have any contact with Doe ever again. No investigation was done and it was not reported to DCFS. The teacher is alleged to have left teaching, in part, due to this incident.
Following the receipt of various information, reports, rumors, complaints and allegations concerning Price’s alleged sexual misconduct with Doe, the Board of Education, its agents and employees, refused and failed to investigate the matter concerning Price’s alleged sexual misconduct with Doe or report it to the authorities and attempted to conceal Prices alleged sexual relationship with Doe.
The Board also:
Refused and failed to make mandated reports of suspected child abuse under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
Failed to train employees in the recognition and prevention of sexual grooming and/or sexual abuse.
Allowed Price to remain employed at Riverton High School after learning of his alleged sexual grooming and/or sexual abuse of Doe.
Otherwise exhibited deliberate indifference to the safety, security and well-being of Doe.
The 11-count lawsuit is seeking damages in excess of $550,000 (in excess of $50,000 plus court costs on each count.)
Counts one through five name the Riverton Board of Education as the respondent. They include: Count 1, Wilfull and Wanton Conduct; 2, Negligence; 3, Negligent Failure to Follow Established Policies and Procedures; 4, Breach of Fiduciary Duty and 5, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.
Counts seven and eight name Bill Lamkey as respondent and they include: Wilful and Wanton Conduct and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.
Counts nine and 10 name Tamara Sturdy as respondent and they are the same as Lamkey’s
Count’s 10 and 11 name Price as respondent. They are: Assault and Battery and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
After the alleged incidents mentioned in the lawsuit, Price remained employed by the Riverton School District until 2016, at which time he took a position as assistant principal at Turner Elementary in Jacksonville. In 2018, he left that position to come to the Carrollton School District where he became a junior high social studies teacher.
Price is set to appear in Macoupin County Court on Wednesday, Jan. 12 on the two counts of Violation of an Order of Protection that occurred on Feb. 12, 2021, one of which involves a minor child. While Price was booked into Greene County Jail on Feb. 12, charges were not filed until Feb. 26.
At the time of the incident, Price was the Carrollton High School head basketball coach. He resigned that position at the Feb. 22 school board meeting.
On March 15, the Carrollton School Board terminated Price’s employment with the district. The board announced that Price, a third year, non-tenured teacher, would not be hired back for the upcoming school year. Because he was non-tenured, the Board was not required to give a reason for his dismissal.
Price had been on paid administrative leave after his arrest on Feb. 12, 2021 and would have remained on the district payroll until the end of the year, but at a special meeting called on March 25, Price submitted his resignation.
At the time of his arrest in Feb. of 2021, Greene County States Attorney Caleb Briscoe said Price was under investigation by local law enforcement for “possible other criminal actions surrounding the alleged incident.”
That investigation remains open.