A former Timpview High School varsity basketball coach has filed a civil suit against the Provo School District saying that he was forced to resign on allegations of sexual assault and wants his job back.
According to the suit, filed in 4th District Court, Timothy Lewis resigned around March 29 after school district officials told him that if he didn't resign, "they would communicate damaging and potentially criminal information to the police department, school board, his family and others which would be a personal and professional embarrassment and may subject him to criminal liability."According to the suit, the call for his resignation came last spring after a student approached him and asked if she could retake a test, turn in a late book report and become his varsity statistician assistant. Lewis told the student no to all requests.
The suit says the student then left and told a friend that he had touched her in an inappropriate manner. Two days later, the student told school officials that the story was fabricated, the suit said.
Despite this fact, the suit says district employees continued to tell others about the incident that they believed had occurred and that several years earlier the teacher had been involved in sexual and physical relationships with several students.
The suit says these rumors spread throughout the high school and community, damaged the teacher's reputation and interfered with his relationships with his students, team members, family and others.
He is suing the district for damages or for an order voiding his resignation. The lawsuit was filed on 15 counts including breach of contract, fraud and intentional misrepresentations, invasion of privacy and wrongful termination, among others.
Provo School District Superintendent Jim Bergera had no comment about the lawsuit. The school district's attorney, Mark Robinson, was not available for comment.
Lewis has been a teacher in Provo schools for 18 years and has brought Timpview High to the state high school AAA basketball championships for the past three years. A month before he resigned, Timpview brought home its first-ever state championship.