The Justice Department ruled in favor of the 14-year-old girl who was raped during a middle school sting operation, stating that the school was obligated under federal law to investigate harassment and protect female students.
"A school board cannot avoid summary judgment as a matter of law when a school administrator willfully ignores a plan to use a 14-year-old special needs student as bait to catch a student with a known history of sexual and violent misconduct, and as a result, the student is sodomized," reads the federal brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals late today.
The Justice Department stated that the school was negligent in protecting the girl. The boy in question was known to be dangerous, and the school showed "deliberate indifference."
School Principal Ronnie Blair rejected the aide's recommendation that the boy be constantly watched, "and told Simpson that [the boy] could not be punished because he had not been 'caught in the act,' short-hand for the school's policy that students could not be disciplined without substantiation of student-on-student misconduct."
The boy had previously asked the girl to have sex, but was turned down. When the boy asked for the second time, she reported him to the aide. The sting operation was then set up to catch the boy in the act, but the girl was raped as a result.
The suit against the school was filed in 2010.
"We're grateful that the Department of Justice has gotten involved," said Eric Artrip, the attorney for the girl and her father. "It's important for us to have people with their credibility standing up and saying this is clearly a violation of Title IX."
The defense testified that the girl was ultimately "responsible for herself once she entered the bathroom." The Justice Department contends, "[A] jury could easily conclude that the school acted with deliberate indifference when, despite two sexual misconduct complaints against [the boy] days before he sodomized [the girl], it provided him unsupervised access to students and failed to protect [the girl]."
The boy was suspended for five days, but has returned after first being sent to another school.
This was not the only rape case in the news this week. According to an earlier report from the The Inquisitr, a 31-year-old Seattle man was allegedly raped by 26-year-old Chantae Gilman, who broke into his apartment while he was sleeping and raped him.