Elmont, New York — A mentally challenged 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted while being pinned under her desk at school, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.
The girl’s teacher was mere feet away while the incident occurred.
The girl, known in the suit as KJ, was allegedly sexually assaulted by two teenaged boys. Another boy reportedly hit her on the head whenever she tried to escape. The girl reported the gang-rape to her mother the next day. Though her mother immediately reported the incident to the school, school officials failed to report it. The mother claimed a lawsuit.
For ten minutes, the special-needs teen was allegedly held under her desk and sexually assaulted. At one point, the suit reports that one of the teens tried to sodomize the girl, while another danced on top of her desk.
The alleged abuse happened during a science class at Martin De Porres Academy, where the city sent the girl. Allegedly, the entire incident garnered no response from the teens’ teacher, alleges lawyer Madeline Bryer.
KJ, who has an IQ of less than 60, was sent to the school by the city, and was the only girl in her class of 13 boys. The boys who allegedly attacked her had known “violent propensities,” and all lived at Casa De La Salle, a residence for juvenile delinquents, the suit claims. KJ reportedly told a social worker about the attacks, but the social worker failed to make a report. If was not until the girl’s mother got involved that the school responded to the claim.
KJ’s mother reportedly tried to get her daughter transferred from the school, to no avail. The teen endured months of bullying. In December, officials put KJ in a room with a boy who was reportedly sexually harassing her and told them to “discuss their issues.”
The boy left a gash over KJ’s right eye during that meeting, the suit claims.
“It’s mind-boggling how this could happen,” said Bryer.
Martin De Porres executive director Ed Dana said the school conducted an internal investigation as soon as it heard of the abuse and fired a teacher as a result. “We want the community to know that we hold our teachers to a high standard. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of the children in our care,” Dana said in a statement.