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Seattle School District Agrees to a $4.25M Sexual Assault Settlement

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — A suburban Seattle school district this week agreed to pay $4.25 million to settle a lawsuit that accuses a former middle school teacher of sexually assaulting his student for nearly a decade.

According to the lawsuit, drama teacher Richard Buckley started “grooming” Courtney Dennis, when she was about 12 years old in the late 1990s at Issaquah Middle School.

Buckley was never criminally charged, and the statute of limitations has elapsed. In 2003, he was convicted of molesting Dennis’s younger sister.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Dennis told The Seattle Times in an interview Friday. “I’m so thankful to (my attorneys) — they fought so hard to seek justice for my family and I.”

Filing the lawsuit, she said, has been an important part of her healing process.

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