Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against District 9

EAGLE POINT, Ore. – Jackson County School District 9 is facing a federal court lawsuit. Two parents want justice for their children who they say were sexually abused in school. NewsWatch12 spoke with the attorney representing the two victims and the parents are asking for one million dollars each.

Attorney Tom Petersen, a Partner with Black Champan Webber & Stevens said Joel Heller, a former counselor and teacher at Little Butte Elementary School, sexually abused two students in his classroom during school hours. Peteresen is representing two victims but said there are more children Heller abused. The attorney says the parents want justice through this lawsuit

“The million dollars is a subjective figure,” Petersen explained. “Its one that says what is the community standard for something like this. If your child had to go through this, what money could compensate for that? One million might not be enough.”

The school district said in December 2011, there was a police investigation into Heller, but the district attorney decided not to prosecute. They did not have any comments about the lawsuit filed against them, but said keeping their students safe is a priority.

Heller does not work for Jackson County School District 9 any more the victim’s attorney says he was let go after multiple complaints came in against him.