Settlement reached in Gethers case alleging sexual abuse of students
Former Charleston County School District employee was accused of sexually abusing several children
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - An attorney representing multiple victims who claim they were victims of sexual abuse say a settlement has been reached.
Multiple lawsuits alleged that former Charleston County School District employee Marvin Gethers sexually abused several children while he was employed with the school district.
Attorney Mark Peper, who represents five of eight alleged victims, says the settlement totals $8 million and that $1 million will go to each in the case. The district’s insurance company will pay $1 million of the settlement while the district itself will cover the remaining $7 million, Peper said.
Gethers worked for the district from 2000 to 2007 and again from 2010 to 2016. He was charged with molesting two children at Dunston Elementary School but he died in 2017 before the cases could go to trial.
A Live 5 News investigation found that the school district and police were investigating Gethers in 2014 for child pornography, but documents state he was allowed to continue working at Dunston while under investigation. In fact, he was named employee of the year in 2015, awarded a new iPad and given a district vehicle to use.
Police affidavits state during that time he was allegedly molesting two young boys at the school.
After Live 5 News’ initial reporting additional families came forward saying their children had been molested by Gethers.
Peper said three of the lawsuits are in federal court waiting for approval by a federal judge and the other five have been approved by a state judge.
Peper sent the following statement:
While it’s unfortunate that these tragic events ever occurred, we appreciate CCSD’s willingness to amicably resolve these claims without the children having to relive the events during a lengthy and emotional trial. Being sexually abused as a child can result in a lifetime of suffering, and these settlements will allow them to continue the healing process into their adulthood.
Charleston County School District spokesperson Vanessa Denney released the following statement:
The district hopes this settlement puts this unfortunate matter behind us.
In total, nine children brought claims against the district. The ninth claim was previously settled in 2018 for $300,000.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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