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"Other cases of the system failing"

Paul Jensen
Lakota Junior High School
Federal Way School District

Girls at the junior high complained repeatedly in 1994 about Jensen, a volleyball coach and teacher. When he wasn't grabbing their buttocks, they said, he was massaging their shoulders and putting his hands too close to their breasts.

A school security guard, Micky Osburn, also complained in 1994 to the principal about Jensen touching her and the girls, but she was told not to bother because the teachers union would protect Jensen.

"Unless somebody can prove that Paul took some little girl's panties down or fondled her breasts, there will be no case," the principal said, according to a memo Osburn made of the conversation. The school did reprimand him for touching the players.

A year later, volleyball player Melissa Hatch complained that Jensen couldn't "keep his hands off" her and other girls. Another parent said her daughter's playing time was cut because she wouldn't let him touch her. Jensen was reprimanded again, but to little effect.

In 1996, after more students filed similar complaints, Federal Way fired him as a coach and transferred him to another school to teach.

Today, Jensen coaches for the Puget Sound Volleyball League, which charges about $1,600 per year to train female athletes, ages 12 to 18, for regional and national competition.

Jensen said he was only trying to "be supportive" and did nothing wrong.

Hatch isn't buying it: "I don't think he should be coaching."

Greg Ford
Timberline High School
North Thurston School District

When the wrestling coach and psychology teacher developed a sexual relationship with 17-year-old student Rhea Hernandez in 1991, she said the school ignored all the warning signs of abuse.

"We walked to class together," she said. "We went from gym to classroom to lunchroom. The gym teacher caught him rubbing my shoulders and that should have been a red flag."

One teacher saw Ford "straddling" Hernandez in the restroom, but his personnel file at Timberline High School shows no follow-up on the complaint.

The sexual relationship ended after the girl's sister went to police because Ford had made sexual advances to her, as well.

Ford wasn't charged, but the district fired him. Rhea Hernandez became pregnant, and a paternity test proved he was the father.

Stephen Milionis
Newport High School
Newport School District

On Sept. 1, 1998, Idaho authorities suspended teacher-coach Milionis from teaching for one year after investigating him for having sex with a 14-year-old girl on his basketball team.

But a week later, Milionis was back in public schools, this time in Washington as a counselor and basketball coach for the Oroville School District in Okanogan County.

"Steve basically just got a slap on the hand and was able to go teach somewhere else," said Dody Stewart, who said he sexually exploited her for four years and she hasn't fully recovered from the abuse.

Washington didn't find out about the Idaho suspension until early 1999, when Idaho finally notified a national clearinghouse of teacher-license suspensions and revocations. While Idaho determined Milionis was unfit for the classroom, the Washington superintendent's office allowed him to teach, putting him on probation.

After coaching for two years in Oroville, he landed a coaching and counseling job with the Newport School District, 50 miles from Spokane. Recently, the Newport district suspended Milionis while it investigated whether he lied about his prior record on his job application.

Steven Fiser
Yelm High School
Yelm School District

Girls on the volleyball team complained in 1997 that coach Fiser constantly touched and flirted with them. But during an investigation, the district turned up far worse conduct.

He had sexual relationships with two 16-year-old girls, one playing on Yelm's fastpitch softball team, the other on a volleyball team in Tumwater where he had coached earlier, according to police reports and court testimony.

At first, the two girls didn't consider themselves victims. "I thought I was special," said volleyball player Kanya Sarapanich. Soon, however, she started feeling shame, but she kept it secret for three years.

Then Sarapanich learned Fiser had been arrested for having sex with the 16-year-old Yelm athlete he had coached.

Although the statute of limitations prevented authorities from pressing charges in Sarapanich's case, she testified for the other athlete. Fiser was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor in 1998 and surrendered his teaching certificate in 1999.

Reached for comment, Fiser said he didn't want to "rehash" the issue.

Jerome Collins
Federal Way High School
Federal Way School District

Despite repeated complaints that boys basketball coach Collins was touching and sexually harassing girls, he continues to coach and teach.

Collins was reprimanded in 1994 for "slapping female students on the buttocks and inappropriate joking with female students" and had to undergo training on how to interact appropriately with girls.

In 1999, a sophomore who kept statistics for his team filed a complaint with the school, saying Collins constantly asked her to kiss him, said he wanted to see her naked, rubbed her stomach and kissed her.

A lawyer for the district's human-resources office determined that the student was credible and that Collins should be fired. Further warnings or a suspension would be "inadequate corrective response in light of the prior warning."

But district officials chose not to fire him and considered lesser discipline.

Collins fought that effort. His union lawyer subpoenaed the girl's mental-health records, grades and attendance records.

The school did not punish Collins, citing difficulty in "sustaining termination or other disciplinary action."

Andrew Garver
Aloha Angels,
Beaverton, Ore.

Garver, a softball coach for an elite team, was last seen with 16-year-old Michelle "Mimi" Smith on Sept. 26 and is wanted by the FBI for kidnapping.

According to Beaverton police, family members believe Garver, 38, began a sexual relationship with the sophomore while she played on his team, the Aloha Angels, which placed third in a tri-state tournament this year in Spokane.

When she was 13, the girl was sexually abused by Garver's assistant coach, Dean Meier, who pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse in 1998. Because of an unstable home, the girl moved in with Garver and his family and lived there nearly two years before they disappeared, police said.

Anyone with information can call Beaverton Police at 503-350-4099 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

David L. Olson
Pioneer Middle School,
Steilacoom Historical School District

In 1995, the mother of a 13-year-old girl found several love notes in her daughter's desk from Olson, her 37-year-old teacher and track coach. "Every time you look (my) way, I would lay down my life for you," he wrote. "I am always here and I love you."

He had been reprimanded a month earlier for embracing the girl after school. After seeing the letters, the school district suspended him, then reached an agreement: If he resigned, officials wouldn't tell prospective employers about his misconduct.

The school sent a sexual-misconduct complaint to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for investigation, but the love letters sat in OSPI's files for two years before the agency contacted the victim.

Three months after talking to her, the OSPI dropped the case because Olson's teaching license had expired. Through a lawyer, Olson said he did nothing wrong and had only been professing Christian love for the girl.


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