Ex-Counselor Accused of Grooming in Lawsuit Filed by Former Centerville Student

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A former student is accusing a former Centerville High School guidance counselor of grooming in a lawsuit filed earlier this month in Wapello County.

The female student claims Ryan Hodges, a counselor as well as the varsity baseball coach, sent her inappropriate text messages as late as 1:00 AM and had improper conversations with her during school hours. These events allegedly occurred between the fall of 2022 and the spring of 2023.

The lawsuit alleges Hodges would use his authority “to physically remove girls from classes, isolate them in his office, make increasingly
suggestive commentary in order to groom girls into accepting increasingly improper conduct, and utilize his professional role and staff access to acquire the phone numbers of minors for further improper contact outside of the school building.”

The lawsuit says Hodges would have sexually charged conversations with the student–who was 16 at the time– when the two were alone in his office.

The high school knew about Hodges’ improper actions but failed to address the situation, according to the lawsuit.

Referred to as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit, court records say the complainant was also enrolled in the Indian Hills Community College Nursing Ladder Program while attending the high school. Hodges’ wife Danielle served as Doe’s primary nursing instructor.

Hodges was placed on leave in November 2022 after multiple meetings with Doe and her parents. Hodges resigned the following February.

Also in November, false rumors of a sexual relationship between Hodges and Doe were circulated via social media. The lawsuit says Doe was subjected to bullying from students as well as one teacher at the high school, Carissa Marshall.

During class, Marshall allegedly called Doe a “whore” and “homewrecker” in front of other students for weeks in December 2022.

The lawsuit alleges Danielle Hodges retaliated against Doe for reporting the alleged misconduct of her husband. In February 2023, Danielle Hodges told Doe she planned to give her a subpar grade and that she should “probably just withdraw.”

Later in February, the lawsuit says Danielle Hodges accused Doe of cheating in order to disqualify Doe from getting credit for the class.

Doe lost the value of her spring classes due to the actions of Danielle Hodges, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Doe suffered physical pain, mental anguish, humiliation, degradation, public ridicule, loss of personal reputation, and emotional distress.

The Centerville Community School District, the Centerville School Board, Kevin Wiskus, Mark Taylor, Carissa Marshall, Indian Hills Community College, Indian Hills Community College Board of Trustees, Richard Gaumer, Dixie Holden, Danielle Hodges, Ryan Hodges, and Brad Warren were listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

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