MONTEVIDEO — The Montevideo Public School District has been named in a lawsuit that alleges the district knowingly hired a paraprofessional with a history of sexual misconduct toward female students.
The suit alleges the district, along with retired Ramsey Elementary Principal Bill Sprung and retired Montevideo Superintendent Luther Heller, ignored the man's past history and failed to protect the 8-year-old daughter of the woman who filed the complaint in Minnesota U.S. District Court.
The West Central Tribune is not naming the woman to protect the identity of the juvenile.
The man, Brock DuMarce, 20, of Montevideo, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a misdemeanor, in March for grabbing the juvenile's buttocks Jan. 1, 2020, while at Ramsey Elementary where he worked. He was given a stay of adjudication for the charge, provided he has no contact with the juvenile, undergoes a mental health evaluation and psychological-sexual evaluation. He was also given six months of probation.
Under a stay of adjudication, a conviction will not appear on a person's criminal record if they comply with all the terms of the sentencing.
The lawsuit also alleges that DuMarce, who was born in Willmar, was arrested in March 2019 after an incident at Montevideo High School where he sexually assaulted female students and fought with police.
Court records show that DuMarce was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process, both misdemeanors, in April 2019 in Chippewa County but the citation does not list a narrative of the incident.
Both charges were dismissed and DuMarce was ordered to a stay of commitment in a mental health facility and six months of probation for the incident.
His commitment was terminated in October 2019, according to court records.
The federal lawsuit seeks $75,000 in damages and for the court to order the defendants to adopt and implement various polices concerning sexual harassment and abuse and to perform "adequate background checks."
The defendants denied the claims made in the lawsuit but acknowledged that DuMarce worked for the district as a paraprofessional from Aug. 19, 2019, to Jan. 3, 2020, according to court documents.
A message left at the Montevideo School District office was not immediately returned.
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