Shattuck-St. Mary's sued again over sex abuse allegations
A third lawsuit has been filed against Shattuck-St. Mary's alleging that the boarding school neglected to protect students from a teacher who sexually abused them, even after school officials were informed of inappropriate behavior and allegations of sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Rice County alleges that a staff member reported as early as the 1999-2000 school year that Seibel was abusing students. Shattuck officials did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Seibel, 72, was sentenced last year to 52 months in prison for sexually abusing six students at the boarding school between 1999 and 2003.
After Seibel was arrested in 2012 in Los Angeles, where he was working as an actor, he admitted to police that he had been present at naked dance parties and group masturbation sessions with students in the boys' dorm. He also told police he touched students inappropriately.
The newest lawsuit was filed by Jeff Anderson & Associates. It alleges the victim was abused by Seibel multiple times between the spring of 2000 and summer of 2001 while a student at Shattuck-St. Mary's.
The lawsuit alleges that the victim is prevented from doing normal daily activities and is burdened by related medical expenses.
"As a direct result of the sexual abuse, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer great pain of mind and body, severe and permanent emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, humiliation and psychological injuries," according to the filing.
The lawsuit alleges that the school neglected to protect the student from Seibel even though others had already alerted school officials of Seibel's "dangerous" propensities.
The lawsuit is asking for a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus legal fees and compensation for other damages to the victim.
Two other lawsuits have been filed by former students who say they were abused by Seibel. The victims' attorneys allege that the school ignored evidence of Seibel's abuse and neglected to protect the students.
Seibel was hired as the drama teacher at Shattuck-St. Mary's in 1992 despite an earlier conviction for lewd conduct. Seibel supervised an all-boys dormitory at the Faribault, Minnesota, boarding school.
Former teacher Seth Hedderick told MPR News last year that he told school officials about Seibel's role in the naked dance parties in 2000, but that they didn't take any action.
The school investigated Seibel after allegations of sexual misconduct arose again in 2001, although officials said their investigation didn't corroborate the allegations. Schools officials have repeatedly said that they told police about their findings, but police don't have any records of those conversations.
Seibel left the school in August 2003 after what a contractor described as child pornography was found on his work computer. The school didn't contact police about the pornography, and didn't keep the hard drive.
The criminal investigation kicked off after a former Shattuck-St. Mary's student charged for asking a 16-year-old girl to send him sexually-explicit photos of herself told a probation officer in 2012 that he'd been abused by Seibel, which led to Seibel's arrest.
Seibel pleaded guilty in July 2013 to seven criminal counts for the sexual abuse of six male students at the boarding school, including four former students who said he touched them illegally. He was sentenced to 52 months in prison in October 2013.
Seibel is incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes. He's expected to be released by the end of 2015.