Fourth victim alleges sex abuse by Gresham principal
A lawsuit has been filed by a former student of Deep Creek Elementary against the Gresham-Barlow School District alleging he was sexually abused as a child by the former principal.
Under the pseudonym K.A, and represented by the law office of Kafoury & McDougal, this is the fourth victim to speak out against Jeff Hays, who was principal at Deep Creek from 2005 to 2009.
According to the lawsuit, Hays would summon students into his office via the school intercom for "one-on-one math sessions." Once inside, he would allegedly close the blinds, shut his door, and abuse young children steps away from the school's two secretaries.
The lawsuit filed by K.A. states the abuse occurred twice while he was in the fourth grade. He was summoned to the office, and after answering some math questions, Hays allegedly placed his hand on the child's leg. Hays allegedly groped K.A.'s genitals as he asked questions, instructing the child not to tell anyone.
"Hays abused his position of authority to sexually abuse little girls and little boys," said attorney Greg Kafoury. "There can be no greater abuse of trust."
In 2017 two female victims publicly described how Hays abused them in his office, which began when they were seven years old. A third male victim stepped forward in 2019, stating he was abused during the same time period.
In January of this year, one of Hays' alleged victims, now a young woman, was awarded $3 million by a Multnomah County jury. During a deposition before trial, Hays invoked the fifth amendment to every question. He did not appear at trial.
The other two civil cases were settled.
"It's so important for victims to come forward," said the woman who was awarded the $3 million. "It's the most intimidating thing, but also the most life-changing thing."
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