A lawsuit was filed against Los Angeles Unified on behalf of a 22-year-old developmentally disabled man who alleges he was sexually molested in 2018 by a fellow student in a vocational training school restroom, then blamed by the school’s director for what had happened.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought Thursday on the plaintiff’s behalf by his guardian. The suit alleges assault, sexual battery, battery, negligent supervision and dependent adult abuse and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiff seeks unspecified damages.
The student who allegedly assaulted the plaintiff is also a defendant, but he is identified only as “Doe 1.”
An LAUSD representative said she would see if the district had any comment on the suit.
The plaintiff began attending the LAUSD’s Benjamin Banneker Career and Transition Center in South Los Angeles in 2017, the suit states. The campus is a public school that provides vocational training and instructional programs for students with moderate to severe disabilities, according to the suit.
The plaintiff was followed into a school restroom by a fellow student Sept. 18, 2018 and sexually assaulted, the suit states. The other student continued assaulting the plaintiff over the latter’s objections, the suit states.
“Defendant LAUSD did not detect or even notice when two of their mentally incompetent students had been out of the classroom and in the restroom for an extended period of time,” the suit states.
The plaintiff received medical attention for his injuries, the suit states.
Doe 1 had previously abused the plaintiff at the school and threatened him with harm if he told anyone, according to the suit.
Last Sept. 24, the plaintiff and his family filed a police report concerning the September 2018 assault, the suit states.
When the plaintiff’s father spoke with the Banneker center director and asked why students going to the restroom weren’t supervised, the director said there was a privacy issue, according to the complaint.
“The director also informed plaintiff’s father of the director’s belief that the incident was somehow the plaintiff’s fault,” the suit alleges.
The suit alleges LAUSD should have known of the perpetrator’s “sexually predatory nature” and not allowed him to go to the restroom with the plaintiff.
The plaintiff has undergone counseling for his emotional distress from the incident and will continue to need such help in the future, the suit states.
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