SEGUIN, Texas – The former superintendent of Seguin Independent School District resigned weeks after a co-worker accused him in 2017 of sexually harassing her in her Austin hotel room, according to records released by the district this week.
Stetson Roane, who has since been hired as superintendent of Raymondville ISD, north of Harlingen, denied the accusations and later filed a lawsuit against the district and the Texas Attorney General in an effort to keep the records from being made public.
A state district judge ruled against Roane in early 2018.
He then appealed the ruling, which was denied by an appeals court in late January, public records show.
An attorney representing Seguin ISD said the records were released this week because the case had come to a close.
The incident, which took place in an Austin hotel room in January 2017, was the subject of a district investigation and led to Roane accepting a nearly six-figure buyout to resign his position.
Although Seguin ISD had previously released a smattering of records, the substance of the employee’s complaint against Roane had never been confirmed by the district.
The employee, who KSAT is not naming, sued Roane in Travis County in September 2018 alleging that he caused her mental anguish and severe emotional distress.
The woman was hospitalized after the incident and was diagnosed with having extensive stress, the lawsuit claims.
A district court judge later denied Roane’s motion to dismiss the case but granted his appeal that he was afforded some protections against a sexual harassment claim under the Texas Labor Code.
An appeals court in April sided with Roane and reversed the district court judge’s decision, agreeing that the sexual harassment remedy against an employer laid out in the labor code preempted a claim against a supervisor.
The employee’s attorney confirmed Tuesday he has appealed the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court.
Roane’s attorney, Tony Conners, said via telephone Tuesday the court of appeals ruled there was no credible claim of sexual harassment.
Conners said Roane continues to be the “victim of persecution by certain elements of the Seguin community.”
“He wanted to ‘curl my toes’ sexually”
Roane and the employee were in Austin in January 2017 while she attended the Texas Council for the Administrators of Special Education conference, according to records released this week after Roane lost his court fight to keep them confidential.
While Roane did not attend the conference, records confirm he traveled to Austin to meet with people who might later do business with the district.
Following a conference reception, the employee joined Roane and other people for a “very extravagant” dinner at an Austin-area restaurant that included alcohol being consumed, according to her account of what happened included in the newly released records.
After several hours, the group returned to the hotel hosting the conference and the employee stated that she needed to return her room, which was at a different hotel, according to her account of what happened included in the newly released records.
Roane insisted that he escort her to her hotel in a taxi and later rode in the front seat while she sat in the back, according to records.
The woman, in her account of what happened included in the newly released records, said Roane appeared to be very drunk.
He then insisted on carrying her suitcase to her room because it was broken, according to her account of what happened included in the newly released records.
“I told him no but he insisted,” the woman said in her account of what happened included in the newly released records.
Roane then entered the hotel room and took off his coat and tie, according to her account of what happened included in the newly released records.
“He said that his job was stressful and that he just needed relief, even for one night,” the said in her account of what happened included in the newly released records.
“Mr. Roane began to compliment me. He told me that I was the total package-smart, a ‘bad a**’ and stacked. He said ‘girl, you are built like a brick sh**-house.’ He said I was perfect for him,” the woman said in her account of what happened included in the newly released records.
“Mr. Roane began to tell me how much he wanted to ‘curl my toes’ sexually,” the woman said in her account of what happened included in newly released records, claiming that Roane also told her he wanted to perform a sex act on her.
“I was talking fast to keep him calm and to reject him in a polite way,” the woman said in her account of what happened included in newly released records.
She stated that she was finally able to get Roane to leave her room.
Roane, in response to the employee’s account of what happened included in the newly released records, acknowledged being in her hotel room but claimed he did not make sexual comments or seek a romantic relationship with her, district records show.
Roane, through an attorney at his current school district, released the following statement Tuesday:
In 2017, I was falsely accused of sexual harassment by an employee of Seguin ISD. I have denied and continue to deny the allegations made against me. At the time of the accusations I decided it was in the best interest of my family and Seguin ISD to move on. I entered into a separation agreement with the District. Subsequently this employee tried to sue me individually for the alleged harassment. A Court agreed with me that there was no merit behind the accusations and dismissed the case. I have moved on from this difficult time of my life, my hope is that others can too. I will not allow for someone to make false accusations against me. I wish the community of Seguin ISD nothing but the best.
The employee filed a formal complaint nine days after the incident, fearing retaliation from Roane, records show.
Roane’s wife, who was the employee’s direct supervisor at the time of the incident, also accepted a buyout and left her position after the investigation was launched, records show.
The employee’s attorney confirmed Tuesday his client remains an employee of Seguin ISD.