Former McLouth High School teacher charged in second child sex crime case; also faces civil suit

A former McLouth High School teacher has been charged in a second child sex crime case involving a student, and he is also facing a civil lawsuit from one of his alleged victims.

Anthony J. Kuckelman, recently of Lawrence, was charged May 5 in Jefferson County District court with three felony counts of unlawful sexual relations that allegedly occurred between December 2017 and May 2019, The Associated Press reported.

He has since been charged in a second case with two felonies, electronic solicitation of a minor and attempted unlawful sexual relations, and a misdemeanor, promoting obscenity to minors. The reported incidents allegedly occurred between Oct. 1, 2019 and May of this year, according to the charging document, and involved a different alleged victim.

In addition, a civil case — filed initially in Douglas County District Court but removed to U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas this week — the alleged victim in Kuckelman’s first case alleges that the McLouth teacher began sexually assaulting her when she was in his science class. The complaint states that Kuckelman began grooming the girl and would assault her behind locked classroom doors.

The lawsuit also names the McLouth school district and superintendent in his official capacity, alleging that they failed to protect the girl and “had actual or constructive knowledge of Kuckelman’s sexual harassment and assault of other female students.” The complaint alleges that staff members and students “actively joked” about a relationship between the teacher and the girl.

In addition, the complaint alleges that on one occasion, the girl was caught on film by the school entering Kuckelman’s classroom from an outside door during the evening; however, “Rather than immediately hotline the event and contact the authorities, McLouth contacted (the girl’s) parents to request they come to school to discuss the situation,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, and it requests a jury trial for all nine counts against the three defendants.

McLouth Superintendent Steve Lilly said the district learned of an investigation into Kuckelman’s conduct on May 4, and that Kuckelman had been suspended from all duties and activities, the AP reported previously.

Lilly did not respond to an email from the Journal-World seeking comment and requesting an update on Kuckelman’s employment status; however, in court documents, Kuckelman indicated that he is no longer employed by the district. He also provided an address in a small town north of Manhattan, near the Kansas-Nebraska border.

Carl Cornwell, Olathe-based attorney for Kuckelman, did not respond to an email from the Journal-World Thursday asking whether he or his client would like to comment for this article.

Kuckelman, who began teaching in the McLouth district in August 2013, was released from jail after posting $20,000 bond, the AP reported.

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