GALVESTON, Texas (CN) – A mother says that after a student raped her mentally handicapped daughter in a high school bathroom, the school district accused her daughter of lying, threatened to have her arrested, and tried to suspend her for “lewd behavior” to cover it up.
Jane Doe sued the Alvin Independent School District and four of its officials on behalf of her daughter, Lisa Doe, in Federal Court.
Alvin is about 30 minutes south of Houston.
Jane Doe says her daughter has an IQ in the 70s. The mother says she repeatedly expressed her concerns about Lisa’s safety to AISD special education representatives when she began attending high school.
“Located in Lisa Doe’s school file was a psychological report which clearly indicated that Lisa Doe was conflict adverse, behaviorally passive, and most importantly, sexually naïve,” the complaint states.
“In a specific meeting at the end of the 2009-2011 school year, Jane Doe expressed her desire to withdraw Lisa from school as she was concerned for her sexual safety at Alvin High School. AISD officials told Jane Doe she was not allowed to do so by Texas law. AISD assured Jane Doe that Lisa would be protected and kept safe as a student at Alvin High School.”
But AISD “made absolutely no effort to separate or protect Lisa Doe from potential sexual predators” and an unknown 18-year-old student raped her in an “underground bathroom” at Alvin High School on Feb. 23 this year, the mother says.
“Immediately after the rape occurred, Lisa Doe informed school authorities that the sexual harassment, assault, and rape had taken place,” the complaint states.
Jane Doe says Lisa’s counselor immediately called her about the rape, and expressed a desire to help the Does get through the ordeal, but AISD “immediately removed” the counselor from any contact with them.
“In the time following Lisa’s report to AISD, Lisa Doe was subjected to multiple intimidating interrogations by AISD, which lasted four hours, during much of which, Jane Doe was not present,” the complaint states.
The mother says that when she finally was allowed to see her daughter, officials told her “they did not find Lisa Doe’s allegations credible and that they believed Lisa Doe had consented to intercourse.”
Jane Doe says AISD employee Carrie Martin, a defendant, tried to get Lisa to recant her story several times during the interrogations, but Lisa never did.
“Martin said she was already talking with the Brazoria County District Attorney, would obtain a warrant, come to Lisa’s home, handcuff her, and take her to jail,” Jane Doe says.
Jane Doe says Martin tried to talk her out of taking Lisa to the hospital for examination, “telling her that it was not important to do so immediately.”
Jane Doe says she withdrew Lisa from Alvin High School on Feb. 24.
“Based upon information and belief, AISD never disciplined the unknown 18-year-old student for sexually harassing, assaulting or raping Lisa Doe during the 2010-2011 school year,” the complaint states.
The mother says AISD failed to report her daughter’s complaints to Child Protective Services or the Texas Department of Family Services, as required by state law; forced her to endure interrogations she did not understand, and “further humiliated Lisa Doe by attempting to suspend her from school for the offense of ‘Lewd Behavior.'”
Jane Doe says she sent registered letters to the district board of trustees asking for their help and received no response.
The district then scheduled a “‘punishment hearing’ to determine further punishment for Lisa,” the mother says.
The Does seek damages for civil rights violations, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and negligent hiring, supervision, training and retention.
They also seek damages from district employees Fred Brent, Karen Windsor, Chief Eugene Lewis Jr. and Carrie Martin, in their individual and representative capacities for negligence, and negligent hiring, supervision, training and retention.
The Does also sued Martin for false imprisonment, and the unknown student for assault and battery.
The Does are represented by Peggy Bittick.