Family files $500,000 claim against Kent School District over sexual assault of 4th grader

A family has filed a claim against the Kent School District over a sexual assault case involving a substitute teacher and a fourth-grader. 

In late 2019, substitute teacher Surinderjit Mauli was charged with fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation after he allegedly touched a fourth-grader inappropriately. 

Attorney Mark Lindquist, representing the family, filed a $500,000 claim against the district. 

"Schools should be safe havens for our children," Lindquist said in a press release. 

Though the claim is against the school district, Lindquist said he expects the future lawsuit will include Mauli as a defendant.

Mauli has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is no longer working as a substitute in the district. 

Lindquist said the young victim has been in counseling to deal with the trauma, which "severely impacted her feelings about school and teachers." 

Earlier that year, in June of 2019, another man was charged for allegedly molesting a kindergartner at an elementary school in Kent. 

Court documents say 72-year-old John Deveiteo reportedly asked a 6-year-old girl to stay behind for recess while her classmates went outside. He then allegedly asked her to sit on his lap and touched her inappropriately, court documents said. 

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