EDWARDSBURG, Mich. — REAL News Michiana has discovered Edwardsburg Public Schools has settled a case in which they allegedly covered up the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl by a 16-year-old boy at a school sponsored camp. And, instead of investigating the claims, called Child Protective Services on the parents when they pulled the child from the school where her alleged attacker was still attending.
According to the lawsuit, which was settled earlier this summer, the 12-year-old girl was forced into giving a 16-year-old boy oral sex at a school sponsored summer music camp in 2017. The boy was a mentor at the camp for middle and elementary school aged children.
“Towards the end of the Music Camp, (the victim and the 16-year-old boy) took a walk outdoors. At first the (16-year-old) was being very nice, but once they made it into a more wooded area, the (16-year-old) began to get undressed.” The lawsuit reads. “(The victim) repeatedly said, ‘Please don’t,” While physically struggling to prevent (the 16-year-old) from raping her. (The 16-year-old) became very angry throughout the physical struggle and forced (the girl) to perform oral sex.”
According to the lawsuit, the boy told several people about the encounter, claiming it was consensual. The 12-year-old girl was constantly harassed at school for years because of this.
The child eventually told her parents about the alleged sexual assault. When the girl was entering high school, her parents discussed the assault with administrators, considering the alleged attacker was going to be in the same building with their child. According to the lawsuit, the incident was not investigated. The lawsuit also alleges the boy committed three other sexual assaults of different female students in which Edwardsburg Public Schools also ignored. One incident involved the dissemination of child pornorgaphy that ended in a police investigation. Despite those allegations, the boy was still put into a “mentor” position at the summer camp where he was in charge of elementary and middle school aged children.
Instead of reporting the crimes, the lawsuit alleges the school counselor told the victims not to report anything because “it would make things worse,” and they should “forgive” the attacker.
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When the bullying continued, the parents of the young girl pulled her out of Edwardsburg schools. Edwardsburg schools then immediately called Child Protective Services on the family, reporting the parents for child abuse on the same day.
CPS eventually determined there was no such abuse.
Earlier this year, the school district and the attacker settled the case. Edwardsburg Public Schools agreed to pay $65,000 to the child and her family. The alleged attacker agreed to pay the girl and her family $30,000.
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