“I just pray that the Seymour school district’s loyalty is with its students.”
— Kay-Lynn Lysinger
A civil lawsuit fi led July 24 alleges a Seymour man sexually abused a teenage foster child in 2008 and 2009 when the girl was between the ages of 13 and 14.
That man, Robert J. “Bobby” Kastning, was charged with four felonies in late June — three counts of statutory sodomy in the first degree and one count of child molestation in the third degree — for allegedly sexually abusing a female family member who now is 10 years old for several years, beginning when she was 5 or 6 years old, Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser said.
The civil suit names Bobby Kastning and his wife, Debbie, a longtime teacher at the Seymour Elementary School, as the defendants.
In her petition, the plaintiff, a 24-year-old woman identified as “K.I.L.,” alleges that Bobby Kastning raped her twice in his vehicle, among committing several other sexual acts against her. The petition further alleges that Debbie Kastning knew about Bobby Kastning’s actions or should have known as her foster parent.
The plaintiff’s identity since has been discovered.
Her name is Kay-Lynn Lysinger, who requested that her address not be revealed. When she resided with the Kastnings and was a student at the Seymour R-II School District, her name was Kay-Lynn Blankenship.
Today, she’s married and mother of two young children.
Lysinger’s lawsuit came after she learned Bobby Kastning had been charged with felony sexual crimes against the aforementioned 10-year-old girl.
“I’ve been that victim,” Lysinger said. “I was his victim. He needs to sit in jail the rest of his life.”
She added, “I won’t be surprised if there are more victims who come forward.”
She explained that the only reason her name wasn’t used in the civil lawsuit is because she didn’t want for Bobby Kastning to know her address.
“You can use my name,” Lysinger said. “The only reason it isn’t on that lawsuit is because I don’t want that sicko to know my address where my two small children live.
“When I was removed from the Kastnings home 10 years ago, I had to get an ex-parte order (against Bobby Kastning) because he kept driving by my home with my new family in Rogersville.”
A decade ago, Lysinger said she reported Kastning’s alleged offenses to law-enforcement authorities. An investigation followed, as the case was in the hands of former Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Danette Padgett.
“Danette promised me that if there was a probable-cause statement on this case, she would file it,” Lysinger said.
“There was a P.C. on it. And she didn’t file. Now we have another victim. It could’ve been avoided.”
Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole confirmed that he was aware of Lysinger’s allegations in 2008.
“Because I was the juvenile officer who placed Kay-Lynn in the (Kastning) home, there was a conflict in terms of my office investigating the case,” Cole explained.
“Ultimately, the investigation was done by the State Technical Assistance Team, known as S.T.A.T. The investigation took six months. A physical exam was done ... physical findings were made. A report was written.
“Padgett declined to prosecute it. I really don’t want to talk about that part of the case any more, other than saying I didn’t agree with (Padgett’s) decision.”
In the interim, Cole said he has stayed in contact with Lysinger for more than 10 years.
“I’ve watched this girl grow up,” he said. “She’s grown into a wonderful young lady.”
When Berkstresser was elected in 2014, the case landed on his desk. It was sent to the state attorney general’s office; the state declined to prosecute. Berkstresser said last week that the case now is with the Dallas County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Buffalo, where it is under review.
“There is no statute of limitations on a rape case,” he said.
Why did Lysinger file the civil lawsuit?
“It’s not about money ... not in the least bit,” she said.
“What this is about is protecting any future victims. Had my case been filed 10 years ago, there wouldn’t be another victim now.”
Lysinger added that she doesn’t feel Debbie Kastning should remain on the Seymour schools’ campus while her civil suit or a potential criminal case is pending.
“I just pray that the Seymour school district’s loyalty is with its students,” she said. “I know that Debbie should have known about what Bobby did to me ... there were too many people in that community who were interviewed, including several teachers.
“She neglected to do her job for me as a foster parent. She was a mandated reporter. Her husband sexually assaulted me, and I was removed from their home.”
Bobby Kastning currently is under GPS monitoring as he was released in June after Thornton Bail Bonds of Marshfield posted his $100,000 bond in the criminal case.
Debbie Kastning remains employed by the Seymour R-II School District.
However, Superintendent Steve Richards said Debbie Kastning won’t be in the classroom next week when classes open for the 2019-20 school year.
The issue was addressed last week, he said.
“She currently is on administrative leave with pay, pending the current investigation into this case,” Richards said.
“We’re not assuming anything as a district; however, the allegations in the civil case do allege she is guilty of wrongdoing, so we have to do our due diligence.”