No claims for mom’s anguish in alleged Northeast HS rape, judge rules

mstucka@macon.comDecember 26, 2013 

A mother has been blocked from making claims for her own anguish over her daughter’s alleged gang rape at Macon’s Northeast High School.

In a brief ruling covering much ground, U.S. District Court Judge Marc Treadwell dropped all of the mother’s claims for damages and dismissed some of the daughter’s civil rights claims, following a school system motion.

The ruling leaves intact the heart of the case, which says the girl was 16 years old at the time of the alleged rapes but had a mental age of just 9. The lawsuit claims she was raped and sodomized in a Northeast High School restroom by other students.

The school system has argued that it had no duty to protect the girl from assaults by other students.

In a refiled complaint, the family’s attorneys repeated a call for the federal court to force the school system “to take specific measures to safeguard the bodily integrity of its students ... from invasion by sexual predators, including other students” in the schools.

The girl and mother are also again asking for damages to cover costs of the girl’s lost education, medical care and rehabilitation. They’re also asking for the school board to compensate the girl for her physical injuries and mental anguish.

The revised lawsuit also adds more details on other Northeast High School crimes, including the 2002 rape and sodomy of a female Northeast High School student by several male students, and, on the same day, a sexual assault at Westside High School. It also mentions a 2008 rape of a mentally disabled Northeast High School student by a male student.

The lawsuit alleged that the school system knew of the severity of sexual harassment of female students at Northeast High School and other schools before the girl was raped, showing the school system “was deliberately indifferent to the harassment and failed to respond appropriately.”

The lawsuit also blames failures of school discipline. It says some of the boys who’d sodomized the girl in 2012 should not have been in the school because they had committed felony theft.

The court case was filed in November 2012. Evidence in the case is scheduled to be collected by Feb. 3, and motions are due by March 6. No hearing date has been set.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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