Settlement Reached in Kennewick Schools Sex Abuse Civil Lawsuit
The $70 million dollar settlement stems from a nearly decade-old criminal case involving a former Kennewick educator. The case will now not go to civil trial.
William B. Pickerel, now 81, served 5 and 1/2 years of a ten year sentence after being found guilty in King County. He’d been accused of sexually abusing at least 5 teen age boys.
According to news reports, the civil suit alleged that the district new of his out of town sports trips with students, but did nothing about it. The trips were to sporting events in Seattle.
He was a former Kennewick wrestling coach and educator, who plead guilty to the charges. He admitted to molesting boys as far back as the 1990’s. The most recent claim was made in 2007, when he was a substitute teacher. That was the year he was arrested, he was tried and convicted in 2008.
The civil suit covers at least three of the some 15 people who were seeking relief in the issue. Kennewick High had named their annex building after Pickerell in honor of his 37 years of service, but after his arrest and allegations surfaced in 2007, the removed the sign.
Pickerell was released after serving the 5 1/2 years for good behavior, he is a registered Level 3 sex offender. according to the Tri-City Herald.