CHARLESTON, S.C. (CN) - A public high school teaching assistant sexually abused a girl on the school's Special Olympics team, the girl's mother claims in court.
The mother, Essence Gregg, sued Lexington County School District Number Two, in Charleston County Court. The school district is the only defendant.
Gregg claims the school did not protect her mentally disabled minor daughter from Cornelius Davis, a Brookland-Cayce High School teaching assistant who was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct last year.
The mother claims her daughter was staying at a Quality Inn hotel while participating in the South Carolina Special Olympics Games in March 2012. So was Davis, she says.
"At approximately 10 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2012, Mr. Davis went to the hotel room where the plaintiff's minor child ... was staying with her teacher supervisor, Ms. Tanterena Glover, an employee of the defendant, Lexington County School District Two," Gregg says.
Davis told the chaperone he was to take the child to a different hotel to see her mother, and did not bring the girl back until 2:30 a.m. on March 3, the mom says.
She claims that even before this, one of her daughter's other teachers had seen Davis, her assistant, "engaging in inappropriate conduct with other special needs female students at the school, and had admonished Mr. Davis to cease the behavior, and warned him not to continue doing those inappropriate actions with female students."
Public schools are obligated to report such conduct to the school administration, which also is a mandatory reporter.
"No investigation of prior witness misconduct of Mr. Davis was ever commenced by the defendant's district administration," the mother says.
She says another Special Olympian told her on the evening of March 3 that her daughter had had sex with Davis.
She says she took her daughter to the Medical University of South Carolina's Pediatric Emergency Room, where hospital staff confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted.
Davis was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting the child, the mom says.
"As a result of the sexual assault, the minor child contracted a sexually transmitted disease, endured physical pain and suffering, along with mental anguish, requiring the minor child's hospitalization and treatment, and caused plaintiff Essence Gregg to incur charges for medical services rendered and counseling for the child, and other damages," the mother says.
The mother and daughter seek damages and court costs.
They are represented by J. Marcus Whitlark of Columbia, S.C.