A Southern California school district failed to protect a 14-year-old student from repeated sexual assaults by three older football players, according to a lawsuit filed by her family on Wednesday.
The civil suit is seeking damages from the district as well as the three teens accused of assault. No dollar amount was attached to the suit.
According to the complaint, the girl was hanging out with two of the football players in the high school parking lot during school hours in December 2013 when they forced her to perform oral sex and raped her. She was a virgin before the attack, the complaint said.
The next day, one of the players again forced her to engage in sexual acts with the help of another teammate, the complaint said. Sexual assaults went on for several days on school grounds and during school hours, the complaint said. A video of the girl being raped spread among other students as well as "malicious rumors" that she was promiscuous, the complaint said.
In an interview with KTLA, one of the teens said he did not have sex with the girl, but he witnessed the girl having sex with others. He said it was consensual.
Attorneys for the girl have said that at 14 years old, there's no way she had the capacity to consent..
In California, the age of consent is 18. An adult who has sex with a minor who is more than three years younger than them faces a felony charge.
Culver City police said they were notified of the alleged assaults on Jan. 13, 2014, after the girl reported them to a school employee.
"Three of the aforementioned sexual assaults occurred on Culver City High School grounds," police said in a statement.
Two of the football players were under 18 at the time, and no charges were filed against them. Jeremy Weaver, who was 18, was arrested on suspicion of four felonies and ultimately convicted of one count of illegal sexual sex acts with a minor, police said. He was sentenced to five years probation.
In the eyes of the girl's family, the blame lies more broadly.
"[The] district had and/or should have had prior notice of assailants' inappropriate, harassing, and violent conduct and propensities, and therefore were aware of the potential danger and direct threat to district students."
The district should have better supervised minors under its care during school hours, the complaint continued, and it should have prevented the football players from continuing to harass and intimidate her after she came forward.
Since the assaults, the girl has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts, the complaint said. She changed schools twice and moved to Chicago with her mother to escape bullying, the complaint said.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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