Updated Fri, Jun 28, 2013 8:21 am
A Glouster man convicted of gross sexual imposition against children is being sued in Athens County Common Pleas Court by the parents of two children.
In addition to suing 76-year-old Thomas Shifflet, the lawsuit names his daughter’s daycare center as a defendant.
Earlier this year, an Athens County jury convicted Shifflet of gross sexual imposition against a child, and he later entered no contest pleas to gross sexual imposition against three other children. The no contest pleas were entered as “Alford” pleas, meaning Shifflet did not admit wrongdoing but acknowledged there was enough evidence to lead to a conviction. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
The civil lawsuit was filed by the parents of a child who is now 5, and by the parents of a child who is now 6. The Messenger does not publish the names of sexual assault victims, and therefore is not using the names of the parents in this article since that could identify the children.
Both children attended a Millfield-area daycare center known as Jody’s Country Collectables and/or Down on the Farm Child Care, according to the lawsuit, which says the daycare center is owned and operated by Jody and David Dearth. During the investigation, offiicals asserted there was no wrongdoing on the part of the daycare.
The lawsuit asserts that Shifflet engaged in “sexual assault and battery, gross sexual imposition and inappropriate sexual contact” with the two children.
According to the lawsuit, the children have suffered psychological stress and damage, embarrassment and required medical and psychological treatment.
Each child, through their parents, is seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages against both Shifflet and the daycare center.
The lawsuit states that the parents haver suffered mental and emotional distress and incurred treatment costs. Each set of parents is seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages against both Shifflet and the daycare center.
All of those requests are for compensatory damages. The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages, but does not list amounts.