Judge rules on trial details in lawsuit against Kennewick School - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Judge rules on trial details in lawsuit against Kennewick School District

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KENNEWICK, WA - The case against the Kennewick School District alleges negligence by the district in failing to protect the victims in the Pickerel case.

Bill Pickerel was sentenced in 2008 to ten years after pleading guilty in King County Superior Court to having sex or inappropriately touching five Kennewick boys on overnight trips to Seattle.

Pickerel served five and a half years of that ten year sentence.

He admitted to investigators that he abused at least 200 boys over a 20-year period.

An attorney representing KSD argued the plaintiffs should be split into five groups, citing potential difficulties for jurors to keep track of too many victims in one trial.

Attorney Jeff Kreutz, representing the victims, argued for two groups: one with eight plaintiffs and one with seven, citing the difficulties involved with having to call KSD staff to testify numerous times.

Judge Robert Swisher ruled that the victims will be split into four groups.

The first, and as of right now, only trial scheduled so far will begin January 7th.

Judge Swisher explained that the prosecution and the defense now need to agree on which plaintiffs will be included in that first trial, and if they can't come to an agreement, it will go back in front of the judge for him to decide.

Kreutz says he hopes an agreement is reached on those names this week.

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