Suit filed against teacher in assault
The father of a boy who was sexually assaulted by a substitute teacher has filed a civil lawsuit against her and her husband. The suit, filed in Pierce County, asks for unspecified monetary damages from Ann and Wade Knopf, Ellsworth. To protect t...
The father of a boy who was sexually assaulted by a substitute teacher has filed a civil lawsuit against her and her husband.
The suit, filed in Pierce County, asks for unspecified monetary damages from Ann and Wade Knopf, Ellsworth.
To protect the minor's confidentiality, both he and his father are identified in the complaint only by their initials.
The suit claims Ann Knopf's actions "passed the boundaries of decency and are utterly intolerable to the civilized community" and that her husband had a duty as a homeowner, spouse and parent to avoid exposing the boy to risk of harm in the Knopf house.
The suit alleges assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress and says the boy will and has suffered "depression, guilt, shame and generalized anxiety" as a result of the abuse.
The lawsuit asks for compensatory and punitive damages from both Knopfs.
In July Ann Knopf pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault of a minor and was sentenced to nine months in jail and five years probation.
She was also ordered to have no contact with underage males, to register as a sex offender and to follow through with treatment.
According to the civil suit, Knopf has been diagnosed and treated for mental illness and her husband was aware of that.
The complaint says that on Jan. 1 and May 18, 2007, and at other times Knopf, 38, engaged in a relationship with the boy, a 13-year-old student at Prescott Middle School.
The complaint says she corresponded with the juvenile through e-mails, phone conversations, letters and face-to-face conversations.
According to the complaint, on at least two dates, Knopf used her husband's e-mail account, and he saw e-mails from her to the boy and from the minor to her.
The suit also says that on at least two occasions, Knopf talked by phone to the boy while her husband was present in their home and that she had face-to-face conversations with the boy while her husband was present.
The woman engaged in sexual acts, including intercourse, with the boy in the Knopfs' house while her husband was home, says the complaint.
The suit also alleges that the Knopfs destroyed documents, e-mails, computers and other information material.
The suit alleges that after the boy's father asked for a restraining order to keep Knopf away from his son, she and her husband made false statements about the boy and his father being at fault for her criminal conduct.
"As a result of the victimization, (the boy) has suffered physical, emotional and psychological injuries," says the complaint.
The complaint says the boy's father has also suffered as a result of witnessing the aftermath of his son's victimization.
As with most personal injury cases filed in Wisconsin, the lawsuit doesn't set a dollar value on the damages sought but says that can be determined at trial.