Douglas Allison, right, is ushered to his chair by Clallam County public defender Harry Gasnick during Allison’s sentence hearing in 2016 in Clallam County Superior Court in Port Angeles. He received 26-and-a-half years in prison. One of his victim’s families is suing his former school for damages because they believe the church’s corporation knew about previous allegations prior and during his employment. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

Douglas Allison, right, is ushered to his chair by Clallam County public defender Harry Gasnick during Allison’s sentence hearing in 2016 in Clallam County Superior Court in Port Angeles. He received 26-and-a-half years in prison. One of his victim’s families is suing his former school for damages because they believe the church’s corporation knew about previous allegations prior and during his employment. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

Family sues church over sex crimes at Christian school near Sequim

A King County civil lawsuit claims leaders for Mountain View Christian School near Sequim withheld knowledge that a former teacher convicted of sex crimes was known to be inappropriately touching other students, too.

Davis Law Group of Seattle seeks an unspecified monetary amount in damages from the Western Washington Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists, who oversees the school with a trial tentatively starting Oct. 1, in King County Superior Court. The law firm represents parents of a then 10-year-old Sequim girl victimized by her former teacher/ principal Doug Allison, at the Sequim-area school in the 2015-16 school year.

Court documents state the law group and family allege the school and the church corporation “failed to prevent the ongoing and preventable molestation of (the minor).”

“Mr. Allison should not have been placed, or left, in a position of trust with young children,” court documents state.

Allison was sentenced in September 2016 to 26-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of first-degree child rape for crimes against two students in the school.

Following allegations against him, Allison was placed on administrative leave and soon fired. He later confessed, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office reports, to sexual contact with two students while at his desk as other students in the room read or watched movies.

He’s currently serving his sentence in Airway Heights Corrections Center west of Spokane

The civil suit against the church corporation was filed last June, and representatives with Davis Law Group report the student’s family retained attorney Chris Davis for a possible civil lawsuit starting in April 2016.

More allegations

Clallam County detectives revealed more allegations against Allison, too.

In a letter from the Del Norte County Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Welfare Branch to Amy Bundy, a Clallam County Sheriff’s Office detective, it stated two other minors reported on Dec. 22, 2014, and Jan. 25, 2016, to authorities that Allison touched them.

One minor alleged in 2014 that Allison touched her inappropriately several times from fourth-six grades with the last instance sometime in 2012 when he taught at Crescent City Seventh-day Adventist Christian School in Crescent City, Calif.

The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office received a second report from a minor in 2016 that Allison touched her in 2014, too.

Allison and his wife Judy Allison were hired to work at Mountain View Christian School in August 2013 where he served as principal and taught grades 4-8.

Court documents claim church corporation/ school leaders didn’t investigate Allison’s past in California despite at least one existing abuse allegation in California prior to his hiring, nor did they act after parents complained during his employment in the Sequim private school for allegedly hugging students inappropriately several months prior to his arrest.

The Del Norte Triplicate reports that former Del Norte County District Attorney Dale Trigg received the report about the two newest allegations from the sheriff’s office in early 2017, but charges haven’t been filed. Current District Attorney Katherine Micks told the paper her office hasn’t rejected the investigation though.

Heidi Baumgartner, communication director for the Washington Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said they don’t comment on pending litigation.

However, she said school leaders are excited about what’s happening now at Mountain View Christian School at 255 Medsker Road. Baumgartner said the school’s population is traditionally small, but last year it had a “healthy 17 students.”

“Student safety is a top priority for the holistic development of students academically, socially, physically and spiritually,” she said.

For more information on the Washington Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, visit washingtonconference.org.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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