Teacher faces suit alleging past sexual abuse of student

EVERETT — A teacher at Cascade High School has been placed on leave after a lawsuit was filed against him and the school district that alleges sexual abuse committed against a student about 13 years ago.

The suit filed Sept. 30 in U.S. District Court in Seattle names Craig Verver, a teacher of AP English, AP Seminar and Philosophy at Cascade, as the defendant. The plaintiff is a former student, identified in court papers only by her initials.

Cascade Principal Cathy Woods sent a note to Verver’s students and their families Oct. 27 that explained he was on leave for personal reasons and that classes were being shifted to other teachers.

“Mr. Verver was placed on administrative leave immediately following the district’s receipt of the civil lawsuit,” district spokeswoman Leanna Albrecht said.

Verver’s leave began Oct. 4, she said.

A second message sent to all Cascade families Tuesday acknowledged a lawsuit had been filed by a former student, alleging an “inappropriate relationship” in early 2000, a date that is earlier than what is mentioned in the suit.

The suit also names as co-defendants the Everett School District and former Superintendent Carol Whitehead.

The complaint alleges that Verver began grooming the student during the 2001-2002 school year by singling her out for special treatment and commendations. This continued the following school year, when Verver allegedly increased his attention on her during and after school.

The student turned 18 in January 2003, and shortly afterward the relationship became sexual, the suit states.

Verver’s attorney said that’s not true.

“The allegations are denied, and we will vigorously defend Mr. Verver in court,” Michael J. Andrews said.

The district and Whitehead, who retired in 2009, also deny any allegations of responsibility.

Verver continues to be paid while on leave, Albrecht confirmed.

According to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Verver’s total compensation for the 2015-2016 school year was $95,557, which includes a $66,739 base salary.

Verver has never been investigated by the OSPI for any wrongdoing, said Nathan Olson, a spokesman for the office.

Verver has been employed at Cascade and with Everett Public Schools since 1997, teaching English and social studies. A jury trial date has been tentatively proposed in February 2018.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Sid Logan (left) and Rob Toyer
PUD candidates focus on rates, broadband and renewables

Incumbent Sidney Logan faces former Marysville City Council member Rob Toyer for the District 1 seat.

Motorcycle rider dies after collision with car near Stanwood

The investigation of the fatal crash on Pioneer Highway closed stretches of it to drivers.

Deputies search for suspect after shooting south of Everett

One man was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A shooter reportedly fled.

Bill Bruch (left ) and Dave Paul
First-term Dem faces a GOP challenger for House seat in 10th

Rep. Dave Paul and Bill Bruch differ widely on the response to COVID-19.

Ballot drop box in Mill Creek hit by truck

The box was damaged Friday. Ballots inside will be counted. Officials gave other dropoff options.

FILE - In this July 31, 2015 file photo, an orca leaps out of the water near a whale watching boat in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. Habitat protections for an endangered population of orcas would be greatly expanded under a proposal to be advanced by NOAA Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Millions have been spent on orca recovery: Is it working?

Restoring destroyed salmon habitat is the key to regaining Southern Resident killer whale numbers.

This firetruck serves the South County Fire District. (City of Lynnwood)
Two fire districts want to change how they make money

South County Fire wants to do a benefit charge, while Sky Valley Fire looks for a levy lid lift.

Sawyer West was last seen Oct. 16 at Highway 99 and 220th Street Southwest in Lynnwood. (Courtesy Carol Crane)
Search continues for missing man last seen in Lynnwood

Family, friends and police ask that people keep an eye out for Sawyer West, who has schizophrenia.

Most Read