Former coach initiates lawsuit against Webster town, police, and school district

Local News

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) – The former Webster Central School District employee who was found not guilty of rape last summer has initiated a lawsuit with a notice of summons against the Town of Webster, Webster Police Department, Webster Central School District, and others.

Kali Watkins, the former Webster teacher and coach, was found not guilty after prosecutors claimed he raped a 14-year-old student in a locker room at Webster Schroeder High School.

“The nature of this action is to recover money damages against Defendants for, inter alia, tortious conduct and civil rights violations starting on or about December 15, 2017 and ending on or about August 26, 2019 arising out of the malicious and wrongful investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Plaintiff for a crime he was falsely accused of committing, and for which he was ultimately acquitted in Monroe County Supreme Court on August 26, 2019,” the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit alleges that Watkins suffered from false imprisonment, false arrest, unlawful search and seizure, assault, libel, slander, wrongful termination and more. Watkins is suing for $2 million in damages, citing attorney fees and other costs.

In addition to the town, the police department and the school district, the lawsuit also cites Webster Police Chief Joseph Rieger, Webster Police Officer Alex Kirkpatrick, Webster Police Officer Gretchen O’Dea, Webster Police Sergeant Jeffrey Webster, Superintendent Carmen Gumina, Principal Paul Benz and Assistant Principal Jacqueline Goodwine as defendants.

A notice of summons is one example known as “initiating papers” in the New York state legal system, and is followed by a formal complaint within 20 days of filing.

Officials from the Town of Webster, Webster Police Department, and Webster Central School District have not immediately returned a request for comment.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.

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