KY Mayor Who Got Lap Dance from Male Students Was Sued over School Trip that Ended in Alleged Rape

Hazard, Kentucky, Mayor Donald "Happy" Mobelini
City of Hazard, Kentucky

The mayor of Hazard, Kentucky, and principal of Hazard High School, Donald “Happy” Mobelini — who was seen in photos receiving a lap dance from a scantily clad male high school student during a “man pageant” at a recent school assembly — was accused in a 2019 lawsuit of not properly chaperoning a school trip during which one student allegedly raped another.

Mobelini and two Hazard High School teachers are being sued over a school trip to New York City and Washington, D.C. in 2017, according to a report by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Court records show a jury trial is scheduled for August 2022, the report adds.

A female former student alleges in the lawsuit that when she was a junior at Hazard High School in 2017, Mobelini and two teacher chaperones did not check on students at various points during a school trip.

The suit claims that students drank and that the female victim was physically and sexually assaulted by a fellow male student. The lawsuit asks that the former female student be compensated for her distress.

The lawsuit also alleges that Mobelini and the other adults in charge did not hold the students “to a strict account for their conduct,” and did not appropriately handle the investigation into the female student’s allegations.

Mobelini and the two teachers have asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The suit also claims that students were left unsupervised to walk through Times Square, and that several members of the group had purchased alcohol while on the streets of New York City.

The lawsuit claims that between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. on October 29, 2017, the female student was walked to her room by a fellow male student, and was then physically and sexually assaulted.

Mobelini was reortedly investigated twice in 2008 for alcohol-related incidents involving students, reports the Herald-Leader.

In one incident, the Herald-Leader reported that photos surfaced online of Mobelini driving students around while they smoked and drank alcohol. In a second incident, police caught students drinking on the school’s football field moments after the principal left them.

Mobelini did not face consequences for either of the instances in 2008, as he was unaware of the drinking, according to a report by the Herald-Leader at the time.

On Wednesday, Mobelini faced backlash after photos surfaced online of scantily clad male high school students giving him — as well as other school staff members — lap dances at a school assembly on Tuesday.

In another photo, female teens were seen wearing Hooters t-shirts at the assembly.

Hazard Independent Schools Superintendent Sondra Combs said Wednesday that “appropriate disciplinary action has been taken” after an investigation into controversial photos taken at Hazard High School, reported the Courier-Journal.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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