A teen who says she was sexually abused by her physical education teacher for more than two years has filed a lawsuit against the Greenville County Schools district.
According to the lawsuit, Meghan Colleen Dougherty sexually and emotionally abused Keiya Bruster from 2014 to 2016. The suit states that Greenville County Schools knew about “prior instances concerning improper behavior concerning Dougherty” and that the district didn’t investigate Dougherty properly before they hired her.
The district said that any alleged injury the victim suffered “was due to the intervening, independent and intentional criminal act of a third person … for which Defendant is not liable.”
Greenville County Schools spokeswoman Beth Brotherton said that Dougherty’s employment was terminated immediately after the district found out that she was accused of sexual misconduct.
“All GCS employees undergo thorough background checks when hired and receive regular training on proper conduct toward students,” Brotherton said in an email. “GCS would never allow a teacher to remain in the classroom when there is evidence of sexual misconduct.”
Dougherty taught physical education and coached girls’ volleyball, soccer and intramural sports from 2012 to 2014. She hadn’t worked at any district prior to that, according to a district spokeswoman.
Dougherty was arrested in March 2015 and charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor. When she was out on bond, police accused her of sexually assaulting the same victim at a home in Greer. She was charged with two more counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for that.
Dougherty pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor in July 2017. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison suspended to three years with five years probation. She was released on parole in February 2018.
Bruster is seeking unspecified damages for medical expenses and severe emotional distress.