Judge: Sex abuse of former Marysville student violated law

A woman sued the district last year, accusing a longtime art teacher of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville School District violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination due to alleged sex abuse by an art teacher in the 1980s, a Snohomish County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

Under the law, school districts may have liability for acts by their employees on school grounds, including intentional sexual misconduct.

A woman accused longtime art teacher Kurt Hollstein of sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed in March against the district. Hollstein was her cheerleading adviser, and later her teacher, she said in a Sept. 16, 2021 deposition. The abuse reportedly took place around 1985.

“She wanted to come forward for other victims and seek accountability from those who could’ve protected her,” said her attorney Ashton K. Dennis.

There was at least one other victim, he said.

The woman said Hollstein began driving her home from school when she was in eighth grade at Marysville Junior High School, which she thought was “innocent,” at the time. From then, she said, Hollstein developed a “closeness” with her “almost like a boyfriend.”

Her first memory of Hollstein inappropriately touching her was in a film darkroom at the junior high school in the spring of her eighth grade year, she said.

Hollstein was placed on leave in spring 2021, the district said in a statement.

The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

In March 2021, the district shared a statement alleging it “has no record of any notice of a possible abuse allegation from that time.”

The school district did not dispute that the alleged abuse constituted discrimination, according to court papers filed this month. Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson granted the partial summary judgment.

“In essence, my client was a thriving and striving junior high student until she came in contact with Mr. Hollstein who groomed and abused her,” said Dennis, an attorney for the Washington Law Center. “Ultimately, there will be a trial to resolve the remainder of the claims.”

The tentative civil trial date is set for May.

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; isabella.breda@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead, 1 in hospital after 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

A concrete pumping truck and two sedans crashed Monday afternoon, closing the highway near Bickford Avenue.

Moses Malachi Brewer appears in court for sentencing Friday, March 24, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to 18 years for 2019 shooting in Everett

Moses Brewer, 23, shot four people in an Everett apartment, which left one victim paralyzed on his right side.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Health care spending continues to outpace inflation, driven by prices

Can state efforts curb 6.7% growth per year in overall health care spending?

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A buffet of budgets, a bunch of whales and a request for your miles

It’s Day 78. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
A mostly united Senate sends $71B spending plan to the House

The proposed budget passed on a 40-9 vote. It hikes spending for schools, child care and human services.

Officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired Thursday morning, March 2, 2023, at the Erwin Estates Apartment Complex in the 8200 block of 11th Dr W in Everett. (Everett Police Department)
‘Did I shoot anyone?’ Everett man charged with killing sleeping neighbor

Jeremy Jones called police to report apparent delusions about his neighbor. A day later, he fired through a wall.

Max Larson, 14, poses for a photo at Terrace Park in Arlington, Washington, on Monday, March 27, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Wrap-around service gives at-risk kids ‘a shoulder that you can lean on’

Compass Health’s WISe program saw 750 referrals last year in northwest Washington — a “significant” increase.

Jeanette Westover poses for a photo at her home in Snohomish, Washington on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Tenant: Housing Hope ignored meth contamination at Snohomish apartment

Jeanette Westover says meth contamination far exceeding state limits gave her seizures and kidney infections.

A Sounder gray whale. (Cascadia Research)
Don’t be flummoxed: Help is needed to name 5 Puget Sound gray whales

The voting poll on the Sounders, as these whales are called, is until Sunday for the grays dining in our waters.

Most Read