Mom Blasts School’s Response to Sex Assault

     MUNCIE, Ind. (CN) – A mother claims her daughter was sexually assaulted in a high school bathroom, and school administrators failed to call paramedics or immediately report the assault to on-campus police, then issued a false statement that the girl had recanted her story – though the assault was recorded on a security video.
     On behalf of her sophomore daughter, the mother sued Muncie Community School Corporation, its former superintendent Eric King, Muncie Central High School’s former principal Christopher Smith, and the mother of the alleged 17-year-old assailant.
     The complaint in Delaware County Court was removed to Federal Court on Tuesday.
     The mother says that principal Smith has been criminally charged with failing to report child abuse.
     The complaint states that on Nov. 9, 2010, at about noon, “G.G. was sexually assaulted in a MCHS bathroom by a fellow, male student, S.M. As a result of the assault, G.G. was injured, and required emergency medical care. … Muncie School captured the events surrounding the sexual assault in question on a video surveillance system at MCHS.”
     The mother says her daughter immediately reported the assault to school administrators, who held her in an office for two hours and denied her medical care. But she says the school did not report the assault immediately to police, even though the high school’s security detail “was composed of members of the Muncie Police Department.”
     “Immediately following the assault, G.G. informed [principal] Smith and other school administrators that she had been sexually assaulted in the bathroom at MCHS by S.M.”
     Under state law, school administrators “are required to report child abuse or neglect immediately.”
     But the mother says, “Despite having prior knowledge that G.G. had been sexually assaulted on their premises by a fellow student, and that a security detail on MCHS’ campus was composed of members of the Municipal Police Department, Muncie Schools failed to immediately report the sexual assault to law enforcement.”
     Instead, she says, “After reporting the sexual assault, G.G. was placed in an office by MCHS administrators for over two hours, without emergency medical care, and was subsequently released to her legal caretaker. As a result of Muncie School’s failure to intervene and act, G.G.’s injuries were allowed to go untreated unnecessarily.
     “Following the sexual assault, Muncie School allowed S.M. to go home without contacting law enforcement. As a result, S.M. was permitted to tamper with and/or destroy evidence of his sexual assault of G.G.”
     Nor did the school secure the crime scene, which allowed other students “to enter the crime scene where the sexual assault occurred and contaminate evidence of G.G.’s sexual assault. As a result, not only was the welfare of fellow students placed in danger, but evidence of S.M.’s sexual assault was destroyed also.”
     Then, the mother says, the superintendent lied about it.
     “Following the sexual assault, King and Muncie Schools published statements to the general public through various televised, print and internet news outlets that G.G. had recanted her allegations of being sexually assaulted.”
     The mother says that on March 7, “Smith was criminally charged by the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office for failure to report child abuse.”
     She says her daughter “has suffered physical and emotional trauma as a result of the rape and subsequent violation of her rights.” She says the girl has sought psychological counseling, and the family has incurred medical costs and costs of enrolling her in another school district, and legal fees.
     She seeks damages for constitutional violations, false imprisonment, assault and battery, and failure to train and supervise school personnel.
     The girl and her mother are represented by Nathaniel Lee with Lee, Cossell, Kuehn & Love, of Indianapolis.

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