Civil Lawsuit Filed against Charleston Teacher
The Heavens Law Offices in Charleston has filed a civil lawsuit against a West Virginia teacher accused of molesting several underage students.
Former middle school teacher Toni Woods, 37, pled guilty to charges of having sex with three underage students in December. A civil lawsuit was filed in March by our firm against Woods. Also included in the lawsuit were the Braxton County Board of Education, the West Virginia Board of Education and two board employees.
Woods was accused of having sexual intercourse with three students four times, and oral sex with one student four times, according to the original criminal complaint. The former teacher pled guilty to four counts of felony third degree sexual assault and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In the complaint, the legal guardian of the student alleges, the “Braxton Board, State Board, Lambert and/or Long negligently hired Woods, proximately causing and/or contributing to damages suffered by [the student]. Woods’ predatory conduct could have been prevented had the Defendants… had a policy in place prohibiting teachers from taking students to their home.”
The complaint describes how Woods invited boys to her home and provided them with alcohol and encouraged them to drink before molesting them. The complaint states at least one of the victims experienced “embarrassment, humiliation, annoyance, confusion, and shame.”
Following the criminal charges, Woods resigned and gave up her teacher certification. She was also required to register as a sex offender and will be unable to work again as a teacher.
Preventing Future Abuse of Students
Our firm is seeking compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the victim. We want an award that would “adequately deter and punish” the parties named in the lawsuit, and protect other student from harm in the future. We believe predatory employees have no place in our school systems and that one of the ways to deter incidents such as this from happening is through harsh punishment.
Our firm has successfully represented several families of children abused by a teacher in West Virginia. As with the well-publicized Penn State case, this West Virginia school asserted they had no prior indication the female teacher was abusing children. After we filed suit and conducted discovery, the school and its insurance company settled multiple claims with us confidentially.
If your child has been molested or any inappropriate interaction was attempted by a teacher, you have a right to take legal action. For more information or to discuss your situation with our firm, Heavens Law at 888.897.5377.