Seguin school official sues Raymondville superintendent

Raymondville’s Roane denies sexual harassment claims

RAYMONDVILLE — Two years later, a Seguin school district official has filed a lawsuit accusing current Raymondville Superintendent Stetson Roane of sexual harassment.

Halcy Martin Dean, the Seguin school district’s special education director, claims Roane made sexual advances in January 2017 while he served as that district’s superintendent.

Roane denies the allegation.

Roane, who was hired as Raymondville’s superintendent in June 2017 after serving as superintendent of the Seguin school district, earns a salary of $175,000.

Now, as a result of Martin Dean’s claims of “severe emotional distress and mental anguish,” the lawsuit seeks between $200,000 and $1 million in damages.

These same allegations led the district to place Roane on paid administrative leave before entering into an agreement leading to his resignation from Seguin in 2017.

The agreement between Roane and the Seguin school district paid him $94,500, or half his annual salary of $189,000.

As part of the settlement, the district agreed to provide “neutral” job references.

The district also agreed not to report Roane’s resignation to the Texas Education Agency.

Yesterday, Tony Conners, Roane’s attorney, stated a Seguin district investigation uncovered no evidence against Roane, who disputed and denied the claims.

“Those allegations are ‘old news’ because they were previously investigated by Seguin ISD with no resulting findings against Mr. Roane after he provided evidence that disputed these allegations, including polygraph exam results indicating that he was truthful in denying these allegations,” Conners stated. “He was also able to reach a favorable and amicable settlement agreement with Seguin ISD after these allegations were investigated.”

Conners also stated Roane told Raymondville school board members about the allegations before he was hired here in June 2017.

“Mr. Roane has also kept the Raymondville school board abreast of the pending litigation involving those allegations. Mr. Roane continues to deny those allegations and they surely have not adversely affected his ability to serve Raymondville ISD as its superintendent,” Conners stated.

School board reaction

On the school board, trustees are backing Roane, board President John Solis said yesterday.

“What’s out there has been out there for a while. This will have to go through the legal system,” Solis said of the allegations and lawsuit. “Since Mr. Roane has been hired, he has performed the tasks given by the board to raise test scores, to bring in revenue and to be involved in the community. We have supported Mr. Roane in the job he’s done and we continue to support him.”

Allegations

In the lawsuit filed in Travis County’s 98th District court, Martin Dean accuses Roane of making sexual advances at an Austin hotel during a conference in January 2017.

Martin Dean, whose supervisor was Roane’s wife, claimed he insisted on walking her to her hotel room.

“Roane then insisted on entering Halcy’s room, at which point he began to disrobe,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims Roane told her about his “stress level and his need for release.”

The lawsuit further claims Roane told Martin Dean she was attractive, adding she was a “young, hot and smart” woman he wanted to “work with” and “do great things together and be powerful.”

The lawsuit claims Roane “began to boast about his sexual abilities with women and he began to describe how he could pleasure Halcy sexually in many ways.”

While Roane “continued to offer to perform oral sex on Halcy,” she was telling him she was an employee who could never have a sexual relationship that would make the work place “too awkward and uncomfortable,” the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, “Halcy continued to tell him ‘no’ repeatedly.”

Meanwhile, Martin Dean, who reminded Roane his wife was her direct supervisor, told him she would never be unfaithful to her husband, the lawsuit states.

“She gathered defendant Roane’s clothing and gave it to him and she told him he would need to get dressed and leave so they could continue to work together,” the lawsuit states.

After Roane left the room, Martin Dean “was terrified” about his reaction to his “unprofessional, extreme and outrageous conduct,” the lawsuit states

“An immediate, very uncomfortable and disturbing work environment was created,” the lawsuit states.

The alleged incident left Martin Dean distressed, fearing retaliation, the lawsuit states.

“She was very afraid that her having turned down his private, personal request for a sexual relationship and his private after-hours demand to perform sexual acts on her would have a significant impact on her job,” the lawsuit states. “Although defendant Roane took no further action toward her, Halcy was unsure how to behave.”

The incident left Martin Dean suffering “fear, anxiety, stress and mental anguish,” the lawsuit states.

Within days of the alleged incident, she began suffering “chest pains, difficulty breathing and high fever,” the lawsuit states.

During spring, Martin Dean was hospitalized with chest pains two more times and began seeing a therapist, the lawsuit states.

As a result, she was diagnosed with “extensive stress” stemming from Roane’s alleged sexual advances, the lawsuit states.