After a long day at school, a 14-year-old teenager was raped on her way home from school then days later was mocked and assaulted by her schoolmates.
Jordan Merson, one of the attorneys representing the young girl and family spoke exclusively regarding the case.
Because of privacy concerns and the fact that this sex offender is still at large, details of the case are limited.
But this is what we know.
The girl was making her way home from school when she was reportedly approached by a young man.
It is believed that this young man raped the teenager by performing a sex act. It’s unclear exactly where the offense took place, but it was in a remote location near the school.
The 2011 incident caused the student “tremendous pain and suffering” that continues to this day, says the lawsuit, filed in Westchester County Court.
“Young lady completely traumatized,” said Merson. Jason is a nationally recognized personal injury and sexual assault attorney and handled some of the largest cases in New York and the Country.
The victim, then 14, filed a lawsuit against the Mount Vernon School District because a teacher failed to make sure she (a special needs student) was on the school bus. The teacher name in the lawsuit has a history of not walking students to their bus as its required by the district.
The lawsuit was filed on the victim’s behalf in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Westchester County, charging that the Mount Vernon High School failed to properly supervise her.
The school district’s policies and procedures required that students be chaperoned to an authorized bus service, the lawyer says, and this wasn’t done.
The complaint accuses the school district employees of negligence and breach of ministerial duties, saying they failed to properly supervise and protect the student. It also says the school district is liable because the girl was under the care of the district and its employees.
The young lady managed to collect herself and walked back to Mount Vernon High School for help.
Its unclear what involvement, if any, the #MVPD had with this case. But, its clear the public wasn’t involved nor notified.
It wasn’t until after the incident things get only got worst for this young girl. When she returned backed to school days later, she was bullyed and physically assaulted by other students in a locker room. Somehow word got out to the students about the rape; Merson said the victim was picked on and bullied and was traumatized by not only being raped but being physically assaulted too.
“You send your kids to school, you expect your kids to get to and from school safely,” said one concern parent. “It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Its also unclear what actions the school district took against the teacher, however, Merson claims this teacher has a history of not escorting the special needs student to there school buses.
The girl is devastated by the attack, Merson said.
He described her as a bright, happy, very intelligent, little girl and turned her into a shell of herself. She is shattered by the experience.
That’s why it took several years for them to go public with this story. The security and privacy of this young lady was a major concern.
Before this case went to trial, a deal was set up for the insurance company to settle outside of court, but they declined. So they went to trial and a jury rendered a $28 Million verdict in favor of the victim. This is an insured claim.
Throughout the several years leading up to the verdict, lawyers claim the family was mistreated by the district.
The district needs to be sure that nothing like that happens again. It could be a number of different issues and reasons why the teacher didn’t follow protocol, but at the end of the day, parents should feel confident that the district has the students’ safety at the very forefront.
Among parents, the details of the case have sparked a range of safety concerns, which is expected to be voiced at the next Board of Education meeting.
School officials have to improve employee training and streamline the process for reporting allegations.
Her $28 Million dollar verdict is considered to be the largest sexual assault settlement in New York State history.
For further information contact attorney at law Jordan Merson at email@example.com