Katy ISD didn’t stop teacher sex abuse until parents intervened, lawsuit claims

A lawsuit claims that Katy Independent School District knew about an improper relationship between a teacher and a student and did nothing to intervene until the girl’s parents forced the district to act.

The victim in the case filed the suit via a law firm, claiming “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

The lawsuit was filed nearly a year after Robert Milton, 42, an art teacher at the school, was arrested after he was accused of having an improper relationship with a female student.

According to court documents, the relationship began while Milton was still employed at the school and before the female student graduated in June 2015. The relationship continued after graduation, according to an affidavit.

The lawsuit claims that Katy ISD “had actual knowledge of Milton’s inappropriate and criminal behavior toward young female students and did nothing about it. In fact, they conspired with Milton to conceal the inappropriate conduct and helped him transfer to another school within the school district.”

“Despite multiple reports to school administrators concerning Milton’s inappropriate conduct with school girls, the suit alleges the defendants acted with deliberate indifference to the health and safety rights of (Jane Doe) and to her right of bodily integrity,” the lawsuit claims. “It was only after Doe’s parents forced the defendants into action that Milton was made to resign and face criminal prosecution.”

Former Katy ISD Superintendent Alton Frailey and current Katy ISD Superintendent Lance Hindt, Katy High School principal Rick Hull and former Mayde Creek High School principal Obra “O.D.” Thompkins, Jr., are all named in the lawsuit.

At the time of Milton’s arrest, the student, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, told investigators that the relationship started with the former teacher on Instagram. Milton told the student how unhappy he was with his wife and that he was available to date, court papers said.

According to the teen’s statement, she first met with Milton in April 2015 at the Cullen Sculpture Garden in Houston, when she booked him as a photographer to take her senior pictures.

It began to rain during the photo shoot so Milton and the teen took shelter in his car, where they began to kiss and touch one another sexually, the document said. The kissing and touching stopped when the student began to feel uncomfortable, according to court records.

The student said the two began to meet after school on Thursdays and often kissed and touched one another in a storage closet in his classroom, the affidavit said.

The former teacher and the student had sex before and after she graduated, according to court records. The student told investigators that she and Milton had sex in “cheap” hotels and were once caught by police in Brookshire having sex in Milton’s car, the document said.

According to court records, the girl told police she was of age at the time they were caught, and the officer replied Milton was “old enough to be her father” and told them “to get out of there.”

Investigators confirmed that Milton rented hotel rooms in his name for two to three hours at a time and paid for them in cash.

At the time of Milton’s arrest, the school’s principal told authorities about the relationship after he was approached by the teen and her mother.

Katy ISD released a statement in July 2016 that read:

“At Katy Independent School District, we are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all of our students.

“Yesterday the district was informed that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Robert Milton, a Katy High School teacher, for allegedly engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student.

“As soon as the district became aware of the concern an investigation was launched. Milton was immediately placed on administrative leave.

“Several days later, the teacher resigned from Katy ISD.

“The district is cooperating fully with prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office during this investigation and will continue to do so.”