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Current and former families file federal civil lawsuit against MMSD and former East High School teacher

Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 9:54 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A group of former and current Madison East High School families have filed a federal lawsuit against the school district and a former teacher.

Two current and seven former families filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against the Madison Metropolitan School District and former teacher David Kruchten.

Kruchten was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison for secretly recording students using hidden cameras during school field trips.

NBC15 has obtained a copy of the federal complaint, which under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments seeks to obtain damages, including punitive damages for injuring arising from secret video supervision “of their unclothed bodies in private paces such as bathrooms,” according to the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court’s Western District of Wisconsin.

Those involved in the lawsuit attended East High School between 2014 and 2021, some current students.

The complaint alleges that MMSD has had a “pattern and practice of installing and using hidden cameras, housed in hollowed-out smoke detectors or other similar inconspicuous housing devices, to supervise and surreptitiously record its employees and students,” according to the federal complaint.

The complaint also references a police report that attributes statements to MMSD’s Director of Labor Relations where Attorney Heidi Tepp said secret surveillance cameras have been used at East High in the “past ten years”, according to the complaint.

In August, David Kruchten pleaded guilty to knowingly producing, distributing or possessing child pornography, as well as taking a minor across state lines for illicit sexual conduct. Following his release from federal prison, the 39-year-old Kruchten was ordered to spend the subsequent two decades on supervised release.

He had faced up to 50 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fine.

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