Kennewick Schools Not Liable in Sex Abuse Case, Says Jury
Some updated news from the Benton County courthouse, where a trial has ended for four plaintiffs who claimed a former educator molested them on trips to Seattle.
Former Kennewick High teacher and coach Bill Pickerell, who's already served time and admitted to several molestations, was accused of the actions on non-school organized trips to Seattle for sporting events. He was arrested in 2007, and began serving his sentence in 2009.
Now, decades later, 15 former students have come forward as adults and sued the District. They claim not enough was done to protect students from what they say was strong evidence Pickerell was acting inappropriately. However, Monday a jury handling the first trial of four plaintiffs found the District was NOT liable in 2 cases, and 2 others ended in mistrial.
Due to the number of plaintiffs, the 15 were divided into four civil suits. This was the first such suit to go to trial. Another one involving 3 former students was settled out of court last year, but no details were released, according to the Tri-City Herald.