Fayette school board's request for rehearing denied in Maner civil suit

aclark@herald-leader.comJuly 22, 2009 

The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Monday denied the Fayette County school board's request for a rehearing in the $3.7 million judgment in favor of Carol Lynne Maner.

In 2007, a Fayette Circuit Court jury found that in the late 1970s and early 1980s, school officials ignored allegations that Maner was sexually abused by four teachers, a guidance counselor and an assistant principal at Beaumont Junior High School and Lafayette High School. The jury's verdict in the high-profile trial is one of the largest awarded in Fayette County.

The school district appealed the verdict, but the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the decision May 22. The school board then asked the appellate court last month to reconsider that decision.

The appeal process can be "frustrating, and sometimes it's nerve-racking, but we're still winning," said Charles Arnold, one of Maner's attorneys.

The school board must file a motion of discretionary review with the Kentucky Supreme Court if it wants to appeal the case further, Arnold said.

Larry Deener, the school board's attorney in the case, said he will review the appellate court's denial with the school board and "proceed in what we believe is the best interest" of the district. He declined to comment further.

Maner said it has been "a long, long battle," and "I continue to wait for the Fayette County board to step up and be accountable."

The court of appeals decision comes days after a jury convicted a former teacher of abusing Maner and another student, Thomas "Beau" Goodman III, starting in 1978.

Jack Russell Hubbard, one of two former teachers criminally charged in connection with Maner's abuse, was found guilty last week of four counts of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree rape. The jury recommended a 61/2-year sentence.

Roberta Blackwell Walter, the other teacher charged, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in exchange for her testimony during Hubbard's trial.

Reach Ashlee Clark at (859) 231-1443 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1443.

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