By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
All sides in three lawsuits related to the Dwight Bowling sex-with-minors scandal will try mediation to resolve their issues.
Bowling, 57, the former iconic Smithville football coach, continues serving a lengthy federal prison sentence for his guilty pleas to transporting male minors across state lines for sex and for attempting to tamper with a witness.
He also faces a heavy state sentence on similar charges.
Three legal cases in U.S. District Court were ordered to mediation Wednesday: two by minors against Bowling and the Monroe County School District and a third by the district’s insurance carrier.
The minors, now adults, claim Bowling molested them while they were Smithville students. They also claim the district failed to act on complaints about Bowling and is responsible for damages inflicted upon them.
The insurance carrier’s lawsuit against the district, the minor plaintiffs and some school officials is sealed from public inspection.
The district denies it knew anything about Bowling’s behavior.
In February, the minors’ attorney asked the court to order talks to try to settle the lawsuits without going to court. Opposing sides did not object to the alternative.
The court orders asked each side to submit the names of three mediators agreed by the parties and the court will select one as mediator with two days to be set aside for the mediation.
Bowling’s attorney has a pending request to throw out the lawsuit against his client, claiming the statute of limitations has run out.
The mediation orders, signed by two different judges, also allow for the lawsuits to continue.