A Seattle attorney filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Central Valley School District, alleging that a former teacher sexually assaulted his client as a child some 45 years ago.
Attorney James Rogers said in a news release that his client was abused several times by former teacher Howard Clayton Moos between 1964 and 1966. Rogers didn’t name his client, who is listed in the suit as “John Doe,” but said the former student was born in 1954.
“It has taken decades for the victim to come to grips with the permanent and serious damage he has suffered,” Rogers said.
Central Valley spokeswoman Melanie Rose confirmed that Moos worked as a teacher during those dates, but indicated that Moos left a short time later to work for the Cheney School District. “There is not a lot we can comment on based on the allegations,” she said.
Brian Aiken, executive director of finances and operations at the Cheney School District, said Moos was hired in 1974 and worked for the district until 1989, when he resigned after allegations arose that he sexually abused a student. Moos voluntarily surrendered his teaching certificate.
“This was a real shock to the Cheney community,” Aiken said of the 1989 allegations against Moos. “This guy was a very well thought of teacher for 15 years. He was teacher of the year in 1988.”
Court records indicate that Moos, now 77, was convicted in Spokane County of second-degree child molestation in 1989.
Aiken said nothing in Moos’ file indicated that Central Valley school officials warned their counterparts in Cheney about any sexual allegations with students in Spokane Valley.
Rogers, the attorney, alleges that Central Valley officials should have known about Moos’ past.
“A reasonable investigation would have shown that Howard Clayton Moos was a danger to children,” the lawsuit states.
Reached at their home in Mesa, Ariz., Gail Moos said her husband’s health is failing and he is currently under hospice care.
She said Howard Moos retired in 1989. “This is a horrible shock,” she said of the lawsuit.