Five board members at the Greater Lewisville Community Theater have resigned after a controversy surrounding the hiring of a registered sex offender who allegedly harassed teenage actors.
Kevin Sutton was hired as music director in 2014 and in 2017 was initially fired after he was accused of having an inappropriate conversation with a 13-year-old girl, during which some board members learned he was a sex offender.
“There was a girl on stage and he said to her 'oh she’s so hot, if I wasn’t gay I would totally do her',” said Holly Baxter, the mother of the 13-year-old girl.
But Sutton was later rehired to work on shows up until this year before being fired a second time. Board member Kindra Bierly says she and some board members had no idea Sutton was a sex offender.
“Had it been fully disclosed as it should have been and voted upon, we absolutely would not have let him back in, we would have stomped our feet on that one,” Bierly said.
Bierly says new safety procedures including mandatory background checks have since been implemented.
“I’ll tell you this, nobody like that is going to step back in this theater without me knowing about it because there are going to be some strict background checks done,” Bierly said.
Baxter says her daughter no longer goes to the theater and she hopes her story will cause other parents to ask questions about the vetting of adults working at local theaters.
“Our purpose with going public and moving forward was to hold the theater accountable for knowing what they did,” Baxter said.