Special Needs Girl Sues School For Forcing Her to Apologize to Her Rapist

The seventh grader was suspended twice for accusing boy of raping her twice.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
August 17, 2011, 2:18 PM

Aug. 17, 2011— -- A special needs student who was suspended and forced to write an apology to a boy she accused of raping her is now suing the school because she was raped a second time when she was allowed to return to school.

The seventh grader in Republic, Mo., was suspended a second time when she accused the boy of raping her a second time, according to court documents.

A police investigation later substantiated her claims and the boy confessed to the assaults, court papers state.

Nevertheless, the Republic School District in Missouri responded to the suit on July 29, calling the allegations "frivolous" and having "no basis in fact or law."

The lawsuit is seeking punitive damages, but does not state a specific amount being sought.

The family of the girl, whose identity was withheld because she is a minor and the alleged victim of a sexual assault, state in court papers that the girl was repeatedly molested by a fellow student on school grounds from 2008-2009.

Special Needs Student Suing Over School Rapes

It took a violent rape for the girl to speak up and report the abuse to administrators.

The girl and her mother met with school officials, but the girl later backtracked on her claims in a meeting at which her mother was not present.

"She finally told school officials what they wanted to hear because they wouldn't believe her," the lawsuit says.

The school allegedly took no steps to investigative the claims.

A psychological report in the girl's school file states that she "would forego her own needs and wishes to satisfy the requests of others around so that she can be accepted."

She returned to school the following year and despite requests from her mother to the school, extra security was not provided.

Upon her return, the sexual assaults resumed and went unreported due to the girl's fear of expulsion, court papers state.

Only after being dragged to the back of the school library and forcibly raped did the girl finally tell administrators.

The girl's mother took her to the Child Advocacy Center where she underwent a forensic interview and exam, which corroborated her claims.

Nevertheless, the school suspended the girl a second time for disrespectful conduct and public display of affection, according to the lawsuit.

The Republic Police Department took a sample of semen from the accused student, and it proved to be a match.

The student has since pleaded guilty to charges in juvenile court.

The Republic School District and M. Douglas Harpool, the plaintiff's attorney, did not respond for comment.

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