Jane Doe and her father claim that if Moorpark Unified School District had done a background check on Christopher Michael Atkinson before hiring him, it “would have immediately discovered Atkinson’s prior history of sexual abuse and harassment. As such, Atkinson was per se unemployable.”
The girl says she met Atkinson during her freshman year in 2009. Atkinson, also a campus supervisor, who rode around school grounds on a golf cart, “made a point to converse with plaintiff Jane Doe on a regular basis near her locker during her lunch period.” She says he also befriended her on MySpace, invited her to his baseball games and asked if she “wanted to ‘hang out’ with him as friends.”
He asked her “if she drank alcohol and wanted to know where all of the high school parties were located,” according to the complaint. “Plaintiff thought that Atkinson’s behavior was odd because she had never been asked to socialize with a campus supervisor outside or beyond the school grounds. Plaintiff Jane Doe, however, trusted Atkinson because he was a campus supervisor and he was known as a member of the ‘campus aid/security’ who were given the responsibility to ensure the students’ safety while at Moorpark High School.”
However, the complaint adds: “Atkinson had a reputation as someone who provided preferential treatment toward females because he would only give female students rides on his golf cart across campus. Atkinson refused to allow any male students to ride his golf cart across the school campus.”
On May 26 this year, Doe says, Atkinson asked her “where she lived and arranged to meet with her outside of school hours.” That evening, he picked her up and drove her to his Thousand Oaks home, telling her “that they would play board games at his residence,” according to the complaint.
There, she says, Atkinson “began serving plaintiff … with shots of alcohol from a bottle that she noticed had already been opened prior to her arrival at Atkinson’s residence. After several drinks of alcohol, Atkinson asked plaintiff … to come into his bedroom and listen to him play the guitar.”
There he forced upon her “lewd and lascivious acts … without her consent,” the complaint states, including “forcible and coercive oral copulation, forcible and coercive fondling, sexual intercourse and rape.”
The complaint states: “Once the sexual assault was disclosed to the district, the district failed to take proper measures to protect plaintiff Jane Doe from unwanted attention and emotional distress. The district … tried to provoke plaintiff Jane Doe, insinuated that she was at fault for not wanting to come forward with information relating to the incident of sexual assault and interrogated plaintiff Jane Doe on school grounds where she could both be heard and seen by Atkinson. … (T)his conduct was performed without the permission of, or notice to, plaintiff Jane Doe’s parents.”
The family seeks punitive damages for medical expenses sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment, negligence and civil rights violations. They are represented by Frank Nemecek with Nemecek and Cole of Sherman Oaks.
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