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Thu Jun 30, 2022, 02:10 PM

Virginia lawsuits indicate pattern of schools ignoring reported sexual assaults

A pair of lawsuits that for years has plagued Virginia’s largest school system with allegations that it ignored students’ accusations of sex assaults are back in front of federal judges.

One of the lawsuits includes allegations of horrific abuse suffered by a student at a Fairfax county middle school and was the basis for a 2014 federal investigation.

The lawsuits attracted low-level attention when they were filed before the pandemic and became caught up in appeals. Now, both cases are moving forward again at a time when schools’ responses to alleged sexual assaults are receiving more intense scrutiny, as evidenced by the national attention in neighboring Loudoun county.

The middle-schooler filed an amended complaint earlier this month after the school board’s efforts to block her suit were rejected. Her ordeal began in October 2011, according to the lawsuit, when she was a seventh-grader at Rachel Carson middle school in Reston. A classmate started telling others that he had engaged in sexual activity with the girl, identified only by her initials in the lawsuit.

As rumors spread, she started to face harassment and name-calling at her locker in hallways. Then, she alleges, a boy at the school began routinely sexually assaulting her – sometimes with others joining the assault – and threatening her to remain silent.

The assaults occurred over a period of months, according to the lawsuit. The girl was evaluated by a nurse who confirmed scarring consistent with anal rape, but a school resource officer dismissed the activity as consensual.

School officials continued to downplay and minimize the alleged assaults as consensual, even though the girl was 12 and was pleading with administrators and counselors for protection while the supposedly consensual relationship was ongoing.
She also alleges that on school grounds, a group of boys forced her into a closet and sexually assaulted her.


A 12 year old CANNOT LEGALLY CONSENT to sexual activity, no matter the age of the assaulter.

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