Parents file lawsuit against Idaho County

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho couple has filed a lawsuit in federal court after a former sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty to engaging in lewd and lascivious contact with their then 16-year-old daughter.

The lawsuit contends then 31-year-old Daniel L. Funderburg was on duty and in uniform when the wrongful actions occurred in August 2012, The Lewiston Tribune reported.

The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene names as defendants Funderburg, Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings, Undersheriff Jim Gorges and Idaho County.

The couple is seeking unspecified damages, contending the girl's constitutional rights were violated

The Associated Press has withheld the names of the plaintiffs because it does not normally identify victims of sexual crimes, or provide the names of relatives that would lead to identifying the victim.

Funderburg pleaded guilty in January 2013 to sexual battery committed by lewd and lascivious acts on a child. He was fired from his job with the sheriff's office and sentenced to 120 days in jail, with 30 days suspended.

The lawsuit contends that Gorges and Giddings "knew Deputy Funderburg was spending considerable time with (the victim) which reasonably should have raised suspicions as to the nature of the relationship between" Funderburg and the girl.

The lawsuit said that Giddings and Gorges didn't take action to end the contact.

Giddings told the AP he had seen the lawsuit but the agency couldn't comment.

Court documents say Gorges tried to cover up the relationship and to persuade the girl not to press charges. The lawsuit says the parents found out about the relationship because Funderburg passed a sexually transmitted disease to the girl.

The lawsuit also said that the crime became known to county prosecutors through a tip to the Clearwater County prosecutor's office.

Grangeville Magistrate Judge Jeff P. Payne asked Lewis County Prosecutor Zachary Pall to determine if Gorges violated any laws while investigating Funderburg. Pall on Tuesday said he had decided not to file charges against Gorges but didn't make the reasons public.

Funderburg and his attorney couldn't immediately be reached vy the AP.

Idaho County Prosecutor Kirk MacGregor didn't return a call on Wednesday. A call to the plaintiff's attorney, Samuel Creason, also wasn't' immediately returned.

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Information from: Lewiston Tribune