Acquitted teacher sues Kenton County commonwealth attorney

Nicole Howell
Nicole Howell

By Sara Celi – bio | email

INDEPENDENCE, KY (FOX19) - A former northern Kentucky teacher and her attorney announced Wednesday they are suing the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney.

Nicole Howell and her attorney, Eric Deters, say prosecutor Rob Sanders conducted a baseless investigation into the accusation that Howell slept with an underage student attending Dayton High School in Dayton, KY. She worked as a teacher at the school, and the student claimed they slept together at her Covington, KY apartment.

"He pursued to arrest and prosecute me without any real evidence," say Howell.  "It was just hearsay that he proceeded with."

In mid-October, a Kenton County jury found Howell not guilty of the charges.

"I believe a prosecutor has the right to protect the public, and in this case, he did not protect the public, he in fact violated my rights," says Howell of the investigation conducted by Sanders into the case.

Sanders told FOX19 he did not want to officially comment on the lawsuit because he had not read it yet.

The lawsuit also says that Sanders knew certain facts about the case before he arrested her for Sexual Abuse, such as that she passed a polygraph test taken for her lawyer and wanted to take a polygraph for Covington Police. The lawsuit also alleges that Sanders knew the student couldn't identify a tattoo on Howell's lower back and that she had reported the rumors the student had been spreading to the school.

"The defendant not only did not have probable cause, he knew he didn't have probable cause," the lawsuit states.

Howell is seeking damages that include attorney fees in her criminal defense. She has not received any other teaching offers, and says she working a bank job that pays less with less benefits.

"Nicole Howell was unapologetically destroyed," the lawsuit states. "She, and others similarly situated, deserve a remedy."

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