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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Mother Says Teacher’s Aide Raped Son

BEAUFORT, S.C. (CN) - A teacher's assistant took a special-needs student to his home repeatedly, sexually assaulted him and then gave himself away by saying that the kid had "seen [his] trophy room," the student's mom claims in court.

Rita Weddle sued the Beaufort County School District on behalf of her son G.V.

Weddle's son, a minor with mental disabilities, attended a school in the defendant district in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

In the spring of 2014, Weddle found out that a teacher's assistant, identified as John Doe, had taken her son to his home during school hours on several occasions, she claims in the lawsuit.

John Doe was a special-education classroom assistant at G.V.'s school during the 2013-2014 school year, according to the complaint.

Weddle claims Doe took her son to his home at least 10 times while the child took part in a special education program known as "Heroes on Horseback" under Doe's and other teachers' supervision. Doe was alone with Weddle's son during the private visits, according to the lawsuit.

"The minor child has indicated that during some of those times, 'John Doe' touched the minor child's penis on top of the minor child's clothes and that 'John Doe' had the minor child touch 'John Doe's' penis on top of 'John Doe's' clothes," the complaint states.

The mom claims G.V.'s teacher knew about the visits to Doe's home, but failed to investigate and report the alleged misconduct.

"[D]uring the month of May 2014, the minor child, after attending an awards ceremony at the school wherein the plaintiff was present, acknowledged in the affirmative the comment that 'John Doe' made when 'John Doe' said, 'G. has seen my trophy room, haven't you?'" the lawsuit states.

"[A]fter hearing this, the plaintiff discussed it with the minor child and the minor child indicated that he had been to 'John Doe's' house ten different times during the 2013-2014 school year."

Weddle says the school district failed to supervise Doe and investigate his alleged previous misconduct, which was allegedly known to G.V.'s teacher and the school's principal.

The mom says her son suffered extreme mental distress and needed counseling as a result of Doe's assault and battery.

She seeks punitive damages for negligence. Weddle is represented by Richard Peacock of Bluffton, S.C.

An attorney for the Beaufort County School District did not return a phone call seeking comment.

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