$4M paid to settle 2 inappropriate relationship lawsuits involving former Harrisonville coach

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Picture of Joseph Dahman smiling

A picture from the Harrisonville School’s Facebook page of Joe Dahman when he was hired in August of 2015.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A total of $4 million was paid to settle two lawsuits that accused a former Missouri high school coach of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student while the coach’s father was the superintendent of the school district.

A judge approved the settlement in February, but the amount was not released at the time. The Kansas City Star reported the figure after obtaining the amount this week through a records request.

The Harrisonville School District told the newspaper that $2 million each was paid on behalf of the district, which had been released as a defendant.

The first lawsuit alleged Joseph Dahman had sexual contact with the girl after she began attending Harrisonville High School as a 14-year-old in the 2016-17 school year.

Dahman resigned from the school, where he had worked as an aide and coached football and wrestling. His father, Frank Dahman, who retired in 2018 as superintendent, was also a defendant. The district and other staff previously were dismissed from the case.

A second lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and abuse by Joseph Dahman was filed on behalf of another female student while she 16-17 years old, assigned to a focus room where he was a facilitator in 2017.

Both cases were civil lawsuits. No criminal charges have been filed.

Attorneys representing the school district, the Dahmans and the plaintiff in the second lawsuit did not return a request from the newspaper for comment on the settlements. Samuel Wendt of Wendt Law Firm, which represents a teenage girl in the first lawsuit, said he had no comment.

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