Alabama’s “rape bait” case is now in the hands of the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Although the incident occurred in 2010, the case was tied up in court for more than five years. The three-judge panel already heard testimony from both sides. However, deliberations are expected to last several months.
In 2010, a 14-year-old special needs student was allegedly raped by a 16-year-old classmate in a Sparkman Middle School restroom.
As reported by CNN, the accused rapist had a history of propositioning special needs students for sexual favors. Although he was previously suspended for inappropriate touching, the unnamed boy was eventually allowed to return to school.
As stated in the lawsuit, school administrators “knew the student’s extensive history of sexual and violent misconduct.” However, they failed to protect his classmates from the inappropriate behavior.
Sparkman Middle School Principal Ronnie Blair said his hands were tied, as the reports were unsubstantiated. Essentially, the teen could not be punished unless he was “caught in the act.”
In January 2010, a special needs student, who is referred to as Jaden, was approached by the boy and asked to perform sexual favors. Jaden rightfully denied the boy’s request and reported the incident to her teacher’s aide — June Ann Simpson.
Simpson’s response to the situation remains a point of heated controversy.
It is unclear whether the teacher’s aide had permission from school administrators. However, she decided to use 14-year-old Jaden as “rape bait” to catch the boy making a sexual proposition.
According to documents associated with the “rape bait” case, Simpson encouraged Jaden meet the boy in the restroom with the promise of sexual activity. Although Jaden was hesitant, Simpson ensured the teen she would be monitoring the situation closely.
Unfortunately, Simpson did not see the teens going into the restroom. As a result, the 14-year-old girl was reportedly sodomized by her 16-year-old classmate.
Jaden reported the incident to her parents, who complained to the school. However, they were not satisfied with the school’s response.
— CNN (@CNN) May 20, 2015
Simpson resigned from her position, but the principal and vice principals denied any fault in the situation. Although the boy was disciplined again for inappropriate touching, he was never criminally charged.
As reported by AL.com, Jaden’s father filed a lawsuit against principal Ronnie Blair, assistant principals Teresa Terrell and Jeanne Dunaway, and teacher’s aide June Simpson. All four parties are accused of violating Jaden’s civil rights as set forth in Title IX.
The charges against Blair and Terrell were later dismissed. Essentially, the judge determined the teen was not denied the ability to earn an education as she was allowed to return to school.
— Unclaimed Mysteries (@clydeleesmith) October 3, 2014
Dunaway and Simpson are still facing charges of negligence. However, all parties have appealed the original rulings.
The “rape bait” case is now in the hands of the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Unfortunately, deliberations are expected to take up to several months.
[Image via Sparkman Middle School website]