CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The case against a disgraced CMS band teacher who was found liable in a sexual assault lawsuit was back on the Federal Court calendar on Monday.

In a historic settlement, CMS and the teacher, Duncan Gray, were ordered to pay a former West Charlotte High School student $10.5 million after a jury trial in May 2021.

The lawsuit alleges Gray’s pursuit, grooming, and eventual threats to the victim following a 2011 sexual assault in the school auditorium.

In 2016, Gray resigned and pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a student, a felony, and was sentenced to 30 months’ probation with sex offender provisions.

After the federal civil rights trial verdict in May 2021, there were post-trial motions from CMS and the plaintiff, none from Gray.

This included a motion for a new trial, or in the alternative, a reduction in the $7.5 million damages amount Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was ordered to pay.

The court granted CMS’ motion for a new trial on this damages issue because the award did not have evidentiary support.

The Court’s decision referenced plaintiff’s counsel encouraging “the jury to place an abstract value on a constitutional right in calculating damages.” Adding, “the jury’s award of $7.5 million in compensatory damages from the Board is against the weight of the evidence and appears to be based on the jury’s valuation of constitutional rights as opposed to Plaintiff’s emotional distress caused by the constitutional violation. It must be set aside.”

The case did not proceed to a new trial Monday because the parties reached an undisclosed settlement.