FEDERAL JURY SIDES WITH WOMAN IN RAPE LAWSUIT

Date: 2001-07-04

Source: SPOKESMAN-REVIEW Date: Saturday, October 30, 1999

FEDERAL JURY SIDES WITH WOMAN IN RAPE LAWSUIT

EMPLOYER ORDERED TO PAY $164,595; COUNTY HASN'T FILED

CRIMINAL CHARGES

Section: THE HANDLE

Page: B1

Author: By Susan Drumheller Staff writer

Illustration: Color Photo

Caption: Armstrong

An ``intervention specialist'' who delivers kids to private behavioral schools and camps in North Idaho was

ordered by a federal jury to pay a former employee $164,595 for allegedly drugging and raping her.

Twila Stephenson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Richard Armstrong of Bonners Ferry, Idaho,

in November 1996, accusing him of slipping drugs into her drinks, then raping her.

Armstrong runs a company called Boundary Lines, which specializes in transporting teenagers from their

homes to private schools, such as the Rocky Mountain Academy.

Stephenson worked for Armstrong as a counselor from 1993 until April 1996.

The jury deliberated for four hours after a fourday trial in Coeur d'Alene.

Jury members determined that Armstrong raped Stephenson while she was unconscious, that he caused her

to be unconscious and that the conduct was outrageous.

``We were surprised by the verdict,'' said Stanton Rines, Armstrong's attorney.

The evidence included two taped confessions, said Craig Mosman, Stephenson's attorney.

``Somebody who commits those acts ought to be in prison,'' Mosman said.

Boundary County officials never charged Armstrong, despite the fact that Mosman and Stephenson filed a

report with police and offered to provide evidence, Mosman said.

Mosman said he never discussed the case with Boundary County Prosecutor Denise Woodbury, who was

not available for comment Friday.

Stephenson has left the state and now lives and works in New Mexico, Mosman said.

She claimed she was fired after the alleged rape when she confronted Armstrong about crushing sleeping

pills into her drink after she refused to have sex with him.

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