Thursday, September 21, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, September 21, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Dad Says Teacher Preyed on His Son

(CN) - An Oklahoma school district covered up a female English teacher's repeated rapes of an eighth grader, the boy's father claims in court.

The father, Tyrone Campbell, sued the Hollis Independent School District, its Board of Education, Superintendent Jennifer McQueen, and former teacher Jennifer Caswell, on April 1, in Oklahoma City Federal Court.

Hollis is 170 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, near the Texas border.

Campbell says the alleged rapes have caused his son "mental anguish" and "withdrawal" from daily life.

"Prior to the rapes, M.C. was a normal and outgoing teenage male who had no prior issues in school or problems socializing," the 16-page complaint states. "Today, M.C. is withdrawn and socially stigmatized as a result of the national and international attention that has been brought to bear on him as a result of his being raped by teacher Jennifer Caswell."

Campbell says school officials failed to contact authorities or the Oklahoma Department of Human Services about an alleged rape by Caswell, 28, on April 4, 2014, that was reported to district officials by eyewitnesses.

"While in the room alone with M.C., Jennifer Caswell began to describe her sex life to M.C. Jennifer Caswell then moved M.C. to her desk in the classroom and began to perform fellatio on M.C.," the complaint states. "Shortly thereafter, Jennifer Caswell demanded M.C. have vaginal intercourse with her in the classroom, which he did. Said sex acts constitute sodomy and rape under Oklahoma Law (i.e., (1) the age of the victim who cannot lawfully consent; and (2) a teacher cannot lawfully have sex with a student). When finished sodomizing and raping the 8th grader, Jennifer Caswell swore M.C. to secrecy regarding the sexual activity."

Campbell claims that the following Monday morning, Caswell was allowed to resign "with the understanding she would keep her state teaching credentials intact and leaving her free to prey upon other unsuspecting children and to continue to victimize" his son.

He says that Oklahoma Department of Education officials were not notified of the claims against Caswell to determine her fitness to teach, nor were they notified of the reason for her dismissal.

Campbell claims that after Caswell's resignation, he was not informed of any sexual activity between Caswell and her son. He says Caswell called him and said she no longer worked for school and would like to mentor his son.

"Over the next few months, Jennifer Caswell ingratiated herself with Tyrone Campbell, and established a regular presence at the Campbell household. She often stopped by Tyrone's home to check on M.C. and his siblings when Tyrone Campbell was away tending to his duties as an overland trucker," the complaint states. "During this period of time, Jennifer Caswell continued to rape M.C. in her residence, in her vehicle, and in a cabin owned by Gary Caswell, also located in Harmon County."

Campbell says he sent his son to live with his mother in Mississippi last summer, still unaware of the alleged ongoing sexual abuse. He claims that Caswell traveled to Mississippi to have sex with his son in a hotel room. Police in Olive Branch, Miss., charged Caswell with second-degree rape in June after finding her at the hotel with the boy, according to media reports.

"The result of the multiple acts of sexual abuse, sodomy and rape has left M.C. withdrawn and quiet where he was previously an outgoing teenager," the complaint states. "M.C.'s grades have dropped significantly and his desire to participate in extracurricular activities has greatly reduced. In-depth psychological examinations will need to be done to assess long-term damage."

School Superintendent McQueen told Courthouse News on Tuesday: "This matter is being handled by the school's attorneys. Because the situation is now in litigation, we cannot have further comment."

Campbell seeks actual and punitive damages for negligence, premises liability, wrongs against personal relations, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, Title IX violations and constitutional violations.

He is represented by Clinton James in Tulsa and Robert Wyatt in Oklahoma City.

Follow @davejourno
Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.