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8th Molestation Victim

Beaufort County, SC: (May-06-08) An eighth victim brought a lawsuit against the Beaufort County School District, stating that he was molested by former teacher Philip Underwood-Sheppard. In a recent announcement made by the school's spokespersons, the school stated that it has agreed to pay the victim over $500,000 to resolve the claims. The board stated that the money will come out of the school district's budget, which will not require a tax increase. Court papers reveal that the victim sued the district in October 2007, and rejected a $300,000 settlement offer from the district in February 2008.

District officials said that they decided to settle rather than risk the costs of a protracted trial. They said that Underwood-Sheppard, a former music teacher at Coosa Elementary School, received a 25 years sentence in 2003 after pleading guilty to molesting at least nine students between the ages of 6 and 13 from 1999 to 2002. Court papers show that the County Council finalized a $4.6 million settlement in August 2007 for six victims, and a seventh case was settled and paid by district liability insurers. [THE BEAUFORT GAZETTE: SCHOOL DISTRICT SETTLES WITH 8TH MOLESTATION VICTIM FOR $500,000]

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Published on May-8-08


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