Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Judge trims defendants from Ty Thomas lawsuit against state college

  • A district judge has trimmed six defendants from a civil lawsuit regarding the disappearance of Peru State College freshmen Tyler Thomas leaving allegations against former student Joshua Keadle and the State College Board of Trustees.LaTanya Thomas and Kevin Seman filed the lawsuit two years after their daughter was r...
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  • District Judge Daniel Bryan dismissed six defendants in a civil lawsuit regarding the disappearance of Peru State College freshman Tyler Thomas leaving allegations against the State Board of Trustees of Nebraska State Colleges and former student Joshua Keadle.
    LaTanya Thomas and Kevin Seman filed the lawsuit two years after their daughter was reported missing alleging that the college, cities of Auburn and Peru, Nemaha County, University of Nebraska Board of Regents, and college board were negligent.
    It alleges that Thomas, 19, was the victim of an assault and abduction and was killed.
    Their complaint alleges that city, county and education authorities should have known that 29-year-old Joshua Keadle was an improper person to be living on the same floor of a dormitory with female college freshmen.
    The complaints says Peru State College was aware of Keadle's "criminal propensities" and criminal background because he had trouble at other campuses.
    The complaint says campus authorities and Nemaha County law enforcement investigated an Oct. 31, 2010, incident where a woman claimed Keadle took her to the Peru Boat Dock and threatened her unless she performed sexual acts.
    It says Ty Thomas' parents belief a similar situation occurred with their daughter, but Thomas fought back and has not been seen since.
    Authorities have not filed charges against Keadle in Thomas' disappearance, but held him for suspicion of tampering with evidence. Thomas' parents believe he is the lasts person to see their daughter alive.
    The complaint says the college sent disciplinary letters to Keadle regarding harassments of students and held a student hearing regarding Keadle's behavior.
    Thomas' parents claim the State Board of Trustees is negligent for failing to have in place a housing policy for its dormitories that would "prevent older males with a prior criminal history from residing in the same building as young female students."
    The college requires freshmen to live on campus and charges a housing fee and Thomas' parents say they were given the impression that housing policies and supervision would result in a safe living environment.
    They say the college was negligent for not warning students or parents that anyone who enrolls in the school can reside in the dormitories.
    The lawsuit seeks compensation for Thomas's student loan debt of $1,640 and special damages for suffering and loss of life.
    The State College Board of Trustees earlier answered the complaint saying there is no law requiring a college to check the background of a student.
    The board's attorney contends that housing policies were not the cause of any attack on Ty Thomas and that there is no allegation that Thomas asked for protection.
    "There is no allegation of any relationship between the defendant Keadle and Tyler Thomas that would suggest to anyone that Tyler Thomas was in any danger," the board's answer says.
    Page 2 of 2 - Keadle, who is from Swansea, S.C., is serving a 15 to 20-year prison sentence for a sexual assault conviction involving a 15-year-old girl in 2008.
    He had attended Wayne State College and Midland University in Fremont before enrolling at Peru State.
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