73 / 63
      73 / 62
      77 / 62

      Former band director convicted of sex crimes now hit with lawsuit


      A Latta woman has filed a lawsuit against Matthew Tyler Hutto and Dillon County School District Three, also known as the Latta School District.

      She is one of the victims in a criminal sexual conduct and sexual battery case against Hutto.

      He was sentenced in 2011 to two-and-a-half years in prison for sexual crimes against three Latta High School students between May 2010 and March 2011.

      Hutto was the band director at Latta High School before he was arrested on the charges.

      At the time of the crimes, the woman was a minor student at Latta High School.

      Her lawsuit says the school district should have known that Hutto was known to "hang out" with the students and frequently interacted more like a student's peer than as a supervising teacher.

      It says in May or June 2010, Hutto, while in the scope and course of his employment with the district, started trying to seduce her and convince her to engage in a sexual relationship with him.

      The woman claims the inappropriate relationship between her and Hutto was so open and obvious that at least two different district employees inquired about it.

      He was ultimately successful after much pressure, coercion and persuasion, according to the lawsuit.

      It says the woman's reputation has been damaged. She has suffered physical, mental and emotional anguish with permanent harmful effects as a result of the acts and omissions of the school district and Hutto, the suit says.

      The district's failure to act or investigate, the lawsuit says, caused the then minor child to be subjected to sexual harrassment in the form of sexual advances and actual sexual contact/conduct from her teacher.

      The lawsuit states the district's conduct was grossly negligent in allowing the minor child and other students to be in a position where such harm and danger could be inflicted upon them.

      The woman is seeking punitive and actual damages.

      The School District's attorney, Duke Highfield, says they have seen a copy of the lawsuit and will file a response later.