Former Redmond teacher settles sex abuse lawsuit

Former Redmond teacher settles sex abuse lawsuit

by Noel S. Brady
Journal Reporter

REDMOND -- A former Norman Rockwell Elementary School teacher and soccer coach accused of sexually abusing at least four young soccer players in the 1970s and 1980s is paying $500,000 to one of his accusers to settle a civil lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses Rod Partee of molesting Kris Tuininga ``hundreds of times'' over eight years, beginning in 1977 when Tuininga was 10. The abuse was alleged to have occurred in Partee's bedroom.

Now 36 and living in Texas, Tuininga said through his attorney that he wanted to be identified in the case to empower other victims of sexual abuse to step forward and confront their abusers through the legal system.

Partee's wife, Marilyn, also was named in the suit, which charges she knew of the abuse but failed to stop it or warn Tuininga's parents.

Marilyn Partee died of cancer in February.

``Like most survivors of childhood sexual abuse, (Tuininga) has suffered terribly with the devastating aftereffects of child sexual abuse, including depression, repressed anger, low self-esteem, inability to trust, and drug and alcohol abuse,'' said Bellevue attorney Tim Kosnoff, who represented him. ``Kris will now have the resources necessary to obtain long-term therapy and counseling.''

Rod Partee, 66, was a coach in the Lake Washington Soccer Association for at least 15 years. He taught sixth grade at Norman Rockwell for nearly 20 years before he was fired last year, following a Redmond police investigation into the sex-abuse allegations.

After interviewing Partee and several alleged victims, police were unable to charge Partee with a crime, because the accusations surpassed a seven-year statute of limitations.

Kosnoff said the settlement was ``one victory for one victim in the long struggle to expose child abusers and those that cover up for them.''


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