Defense wants victim to be named
By Megan Spees
Special to the MP News
KEOKUK- The Keokuk School District and a past administrator named as defendants in a civil lawsuit are requesting the suit be dismissed unless the alleged victim is named in court.
New London attorney Steven Ort represents the district and former Keokuk High School Principal Michelle Lukavsky. Ort filed a motion to dismiss/motion for a more specific statement March 19 at the South Lee County Courthouse.
The motion was made in response to a lawsuit petition filed Feb. 27 by Des Moines attorney Roxanne Conlin. Keokuk Middle School teacher and high school girls’ track coach Gina Sisk has been accused of sexually assaulting Conlin’s client, “Jane Doe II.”
Sisk is on paid administrative leave.
Jane Doe II was a KHS student and track team member during the time she alleges she was abused by Sisk from 2009 to 2011.
Ort has asked that the alleged victim be identified in the suit. In his motion, he cited the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure: “‘Every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest’ ... Iowa law does not specifically provide for ‘Jane Doe’ plaintiff petitions.”
According to Ort, the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure “requires an original notice to contain the names of the parties. The original notice served in this matter does not contain the names of the parties.”
He argued that Jane Doe II’s anonymity interferes with his ability to investigate the allegations made in the lawsuit petition. Additionally, Ort said, Jane Doe II “has made no showing of any prejudice or harm that would come to her by identifying herself in this lawsuit.”
The lawsuit lists three counts “against defendant Sisk in her personal and official capacity” – assault and battery, sexual abuse of a minor and lascivious conduct with a minor.
The district is accused of premises liability because it allegedly “controlled the premises on which plaintiff was repeatedly and continually assaulted, battered and sexually abused.”
Also included in the lawsuit are four counts against Sisk, the district and Lukavsky for infliction of emotional distress, negligence, denial of due process and equal protection violation.
A similar civil case is ongoing in Henry County, where Conlin has filed two separate suits against Sisk and the New London School District and Sisk as an individual. The suits are on behalf of “Jane Doe,” a former New London student, who says she was sexually abused by Sisk from 2000 to 2006.
Sisk is represented by Tammy Westhoff Gentry and Alfredo Parrish of Des Moines.