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Suit filed against teacher who assaulted boy

The father of a boy who was sexually assaulted by a substitute teacher has filed a civil lawsuit against her and her husband.

The suit, filed in Pierce County, asks for unspecified monetary damages from Ann and Wade J. Knopf, W5820 950th St., Ellsworth.

To protect the minor's confidentiality, both he and his father are identified in the complaint only by their initials.

The suit claims Ann Knopf's actions "passed the boundaries of decency and are utterly intolerable to the civilized community" and her husband had a duty as a homeowner, spouse and parent to avoid exposing the boy to risk of harm in the Knopf house.

The suit alleges assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress and says the boy will and has suffered "depression, guilt, shame and generalized anxiety" as a result of the abuse.

The lawsuit asks for compensatory and punitive damages from both Knopfs.

In July, Ann Knopf pleaded guilty to second degree sexual assault of a minor and was sentenced to nine months in jail and five years probation. She was also ordered to have no contact with underage males, to register as a sex offender and to follow through with treatment.

According to the civil suit, Knopf has been diagnosed and treated for mental illness and her husband was aware of that.

The complaint says that, on Jan. 1 and May 18, 2007, and at other times, Knopf, 38, engaged in a relationship with the boy, a 13-year-old student at Prescott Middle School.

The complaint says she corresponded with the juvenile through e-mails, phone conversations, letters and face-to-face conversations.

According to the complaint, on at least two dates, Knopf used her husband's e-mail account, and he saw e-mails from her to the boy and from the minor to her.

Read the entire story in the Oct. 22, 2008 print edition of the Pierce County Herald.