Lawsuits claim Ray-Pec school district failed to protect victims from student with history of sexual assault
PECULIAR, Mo. — Two civil lawsuits filed in federal court on Wednesday claim the Raymore-Peculiar School District and several employees failed to adequately supervise students. What sparked this lawsuit were two very serious incidents that were reported in 2014 and 2015.
According to two civil suits filed by the victims’ parents, the 2014 incident was a sexual assault on a school bus, and the 2015 case, a rape at the high school, perpetrated, the lawsuit claims, by a male student with a history of sexual assault and harassment.
In 2014, one lawsuit claims a boy, known as “E.S.” sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl on school grounds, telling school officials afterwards, “I did it again,” and “can’t seem to stop.”
The Cass County Sheriff’s Department investigated that claim, but would not comment because the sexual assault allegation involved minors, and they want to run FOX 4’s request by its legal department.
Chief Harry Gurin with the Peculiar Police Department did address the 2015 rape allegation that sparked the second federal lawsuit.
According to that lawsuit, it was an incident that is reported to have happened to a 16-year-old girl in a classroom at Raymore-Peculiar High School where “E.S.” was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl.
“Upon completion of the investigation, the case was turned over to the Cass County Juvenile Courts,” said Chief Gurin. “We do believe a crime occurred.”
While juvenile cases are sealed, a court officer says there was adjudication in the case involving “E.S.”, but would not say anything more.
In the civil lawsuits filed Wednesday, the parents of the victims in these cases believe their children were not protected and say after the incidents, they were bullied and sexually harassed by “E.S.” and other students.
While they wouldn’t get into specifics, a spokesperson for the school district says both of the incidents were addressed at the time and dealt with according to district policies and procedures, also implying the district has already been exonerated, saying:
“The incidents were reported to both the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Opportunity Commission last summer and, following their administrative review, no findings have been issued against the district.”
Many parents are wondering why “E.S.”, whom the lawsuit alleges had a history of this kind of behavior, was allowed to remain in the school system after the 2014 sexual assault. A Ray-Pec representative says that there are a range of consequences, and not all of them would result in expulsion. The District’s Disciplinary Codes can be found on its website (see pages 31-43 at this link).