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Ex-Albert Gallatin teacher accused of trying to shield house from sex-offense judgment

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Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

A former Fayette County teacher who was ordered to pay $200,000 to a student with whom he had sex is trying to shield his house from the judgment, according to the student's attorney.

A jury in February 2012 returned a $300,000 verdict in a civil trial against Albert Gallatin Area School District and one of its former teachers, Donald James Rosie, 62. The woman, who is now 22, testified Rosie had sex with her when she was 16 years old. The district was ordered to pay $100,000 and Rosie, $200,000.

The district won a new trial when Judge John F. Wagner Jr. acknowledged he should not have allowed jurors to hear testimony regarding another teacher.

The case is on hold because attorneys for both sides have appeals pending in state Commonwealth Court.

On Wednesday, the student's attorney, Thomas Shaffer of Uniontown, appeared before Wagner to accuse Rosie of fraudulently transferring the deed for his South Union house into the name of his wife, Irene Rosie.

“He fraudulently transferred the property for the purpose of hiding assets,” Shaffer said after the brief hearing.

Shaffer said the deed was transferred on Aug. 16, a day after the student was awarded delay damages of $46,000. Shaffer said delay damages are allowed when no offer to settle is made prior to trial.

During the hearing, Rosie's attorney, Charles Zebley of Uniontown, said Rosie's wife is “not a party” to the action. In addition, he said Shaffer should have filed a complaint, as opposed to a motion.

Wagner took no immediate action, pending an evidentiary hearing. A hearing date was not immediately set.

The jury last year found the district failed to properly investigate claims of sexual harassment against Rosie.

Shaffer argued those failures allowed Rosie to continue teaching, ultimately leading to the sexual relationship in 2006 with the former student.

The Tribune-Review does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

In a related criminal case, Rosie pleaded no contest to corruption of minors for engaging in sex with the former student. He was sentenced to 23 months in a probation program, was fired by the district and lost his teaching certificate.

The school district's attorney, Robert Sanchez, argued the relationship was consensual and occurred off school property, meaning the former student was not entitled to damages.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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