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Johnson v. Elk Lake School District
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
283 F.3d 138 (3d Cir. 2002)
Johnson (plaintiff) was a student in the Elk Lake School District and she began regularly seeing her guidance counselor, Stevens (defendant). She alleged that for about two years thereafter, Stevens sexually harassed and abused her, sending her suggestive correspondences, trying to hug and kiss her, and at one point fondling her breasts and vagina. Johnson brought suit and at trial, she sought to introduce evidence that on a prior occasion Stevens had sexually harassed Radwanski, a teacher’s associate, in another teacher’s office and in the presence of that other teacher. Johnson claimed that Stevens picked Radwanski up over his shoulder and, in doing so, touched Radwanski’s crotch area. Radwanski provided conflicting testimony about how long Stevens’s hand stayed in her crotch and could not prove and did not confirm that the touching was intentional. Although admissible under Rule 415, the district court excluded Radwanski’s testimony based on its prejudicial effect under Rule 403. As a result, the trial court found in favor of Stevens and Johnson appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Becker, C.J.)
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