“In light of recent publicity concerning the settlement of the lawsuit against me and Massac Unit One School District One by Jane Doe 77, I am compelled to release this statement to clarify to the public my position on the settlement and set the record straight with respect to certain irrefutable facts that came to light in the lawsuit,” says Darryl Bentson, former Franklin Elementary School P.E. teacher, in a news release issued from his attorney Monday morning.
Bentson states he did not want this lawsuit to settle and he did not consent to the settlement because he wanted his day in court so that everyone could see that the Plaintiff Jane Doe 77’s accusations against him were untrue.
In a lawsuit filed March 27, 2012, a woman claimed former Unit One teacher Bentson had sexually abused her as a student.
The plantiff alleged she was physically and sexually assaulted at several locations at the school and alleges the assaults took place in a P.E. storage room and physical abuse occurred on the school playground. And, she also alleged that Bentson was verbally derisive and referred to her repeatedly as “fat and lazy.”
In the suit, the victim saw Bentson in 2010 in a mall parking lot and the chance sighting triggered an extreme emotional reaction. The victim said she panicked and was paralyzed with fear. According to the suit, during the next few days, memories of the sexual abuse that Bentson perpetrated on her came flooding back. Since that time, the victim has sought and received psychological counseling and treatment.
The suit was initially against four individuals: William Hatfield, current superintendent; Donald Smith, former district superintendent; Reuben Bremer, former Franklin Elementary School principal; and Bentson.
However, according to the copy of the settlement agreement and release, Hatfield, who had no employment relationship or other association with the district at the time of the alleged abuse, was granted dismissal from the lawsuit verbally on June 25, 2013 and memorialized in its Aug. 22, 2013 written order dismissing Hatfield.
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