The family members of a 14-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who was allegedly raped on a school bus have filed a lawsuit against the Fulton County School District in Georgia whose bus they say this happened.
The lawsuit says the girl has “a sweet and innocent young child-like nature due to her cognitive and communicative deficiencies.”
“She has and continues to have neurodevelopmental disabilities that impede and limit her physical and mental capabilities. Doe functions at a cognitive and communicative level far below her actual age.”
According to the lawsuit, the sexual abuse began on April 4, 2019 when a male student with special needs sat down next to the plaintiff, referred to as Jane Doe, and started groping and kissing her breasts.
Another male student, who also has special needs, did the same thing, the lawsuit alleges.
On April 10 and 11, the second student continued to sexually abuse the girl, including taking off her shirt and exposing his genitals.
The suit adds that the same student engaged in various forms of abuse, including forced oral sex, from April 15 to April 20.
“It was not until April 20, 2019, after Doe had been stripped naked, physically battered and raped, that the bus driver reported to F.C.S.D. that he had ‘noticed something,’” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit claims that it would be impossible for the bus driver to not know what was going on. The bus only had three or four small rows and was equipped with audio and video monitoring equipment that could be accessed and reviewed every day.
“The multiple acts of sexual assault and rape over a period of almost two weeks could not have taken place without the knowledge and/or deliberate indifference of the Bus driver, who never once intervened to protect Doe and report Students A and B to FCSD and the police,” the lawsuit said.
The Fulton County School District said in a statement that the allegations in the lawsuit were extremely serious and concerning.
“Because we are dealing with minor students, this is a particularly sensitive matter,” it said. “We need to respect the privacy of all students allegedly involved. We look forward to the case being adjudicated through the legal process, not by attempting to make legal gains with press statements and grandstanding.”