A lawsuit has accused a Tennessee Christian school of ignoring a student’s repeated cries for help after allegedly being raped and sexually assaulted throughout his time at the institution, the Independent has reported.
Brentwood Academy is being accused of covering up repeated sexual assaults against the 12-year-old, downplaying the attacks and even refusing to report a rape, court documents indicate. The lawsuit against the school, filed by the victim’s mother, seeks $30 million in damages.
The lawsuit says four eighth-grade students, then 14 and 15-years-old, repeatedly sexually abused her son when he was just a sixth grader.
— Michael C. Hernandez (@capturehappy) August 10, 2017
The mother of the anonymous victim says the older students forced their penises into her son’s mouth, saying “eat it, eat it, eat it, open your mouth, accept it.” The lawsuit alleges that one of the boys anally raped the boy, bragging about it later and saying he “f***d that boy up the a** and stuck a Gatorade bottle in him.” Other students allegedly held the locker room door shut so nobody else could enter during the assault.
While the suspected rapists also remain anonymous, the school’s headmaster, Curtis Masters, is also named in the suit. He allegedly heard the victims cries for help and refused to do anything about it. The lawsuit indicates that Masters told the victim to “turn the other cheek” and that “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.”
The victim’s mother sought support elsewhere within the school, according to court documents. She approached Chris Roberts, a member of Christian counseling ministry Daystar Counseling, and he allegedly urged her not to report the incidents to police.
“Reporting this may not be the best thing to do,” the lawsuit claims he said. “This isn’t how Christian institutions handle these things.”
Masters denies the whole thing ever happened, however, in a statement obtained by USA Today.
“At no point before or during the investigation in 2015 did I (or anyone on our staff to my knowledge) hear any allegation of rape,” he wrote.
“When we heard of inappropriate activity, we responded immediately and thoroughly, cooperated fully with the authorities, and took appropriate disciplinary action based on what we knew. Certain allegations in the lawsuit and highlighted in the media are not factual, will be disputed, and our defense will be vigorous.”
Tennessee law requires counselors and school officials report suspected child abuse or neglect. This lawsuit is ongoing.
[Featured Image: Google Street View]