Police: Harassment allegation prompted attack on superintendent

ARIMO — The man who attacked Marsh Valley Superintendent Marvin Hansen with a baseball bat Tuesday told police he acted in retribution for a sexual advance the superintendent made on his wife.

The incident report, obtained by EdNews, details David Battson’s claim that Hansen had “forced himself sexually” on his wife and that attacking the superintendent was a way to “take care of it.”

David Battson

Battson, 50, beat Hansen with a wooden bat outside the Marsh Valley School District’s main office in Arimo on Tuesday morning. The ordeal put Hansen in the hospital and Battson in the Bannock County Jail on a charge of aggravated battery. Portneuf Medical Center spokeswoman Mary Keating told EdNews Wednesday that Hansen’s condition was stable. She said Thursday that Hansen was no longer a patient at the hospital.

The incident report, completed by officers from the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, provides other details about Tuesday’s attack.

Battson told police he hit Hansen several times in the head with a Louisville Slugger, eventually breaking it. Hansen grabbed the large end of the bat and fled inside the district office.

Battson retrieved a tire iron from his truck and used it to shatter office windows in pursuit of Hansen.

Police arrived to find a bloody Battson outside the district office and Hansen seated at his desk, holding a bandage to his bleeding head.

Police interviewed and arrested Battson and later cited him for malicious injury to property. His bond was set at $10,000 Tuesday. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $50,000.

Hansen was transported to Portneuf Medical Center via ambulance.

Marvin Hansen (Idaho State Journal photo)

Prior allegations against Hansen

Tuesday’s attack followed Hansen’s announcement that he would resign as superintendent after trustees disciplined him for misuse of a district car and a cell phone.

A former employee complained to trustees that Hansen sexually harassed her years ago. A board-sponsored investigation found last month that Hansen had a consensual sexual relationship with the former employee, but trustees cleared him of allegations of sexual harassment. Misuse of the the district car and cell phone resulted in the board disciplining Hansen.

Kevin Fonnesbeck, who chairs Marsh Valley’s school board, did not respond to a request for comment about Tuesday’s incident.

Marsh Valley’s district office is in Arimo, some 40 miles south of Pocatello.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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