The parents of a 13-year-old boy have taken their first steps in suing an Arizona school district who they say failed to protect their son from sexual abuse carried out by his teacher.
KNXV reported that the 6th grader’s parents filed a notice of claim against Liberty Elementary School District, alleging that Las Brisas Academy Principal Tom Dickey waited to call police after students informed him of an illicit relationship between the teen and Brittany Zamora, 27.
Russ Richelsoph, an attorney representing the boy and his family, said that Principal Dickey decided to launch his own investigation in early February instead of calling a police.
“If you can even call it an investigation. The child’s parents were not called, no other teachers were talked to. He just spoke to some students, Mrs. Zamora, and the boy, and basically dismissed it, nothing to see here, it’s not true,” Richelsoph told the news station.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Zamora was arrested in March and charged with molestation of a child, furnishing harmful material, and sexual conduct with a minor.
According to AZFamily, the lawsuit indicated much of the inappropriate behavior occurred on school grounds—with “the most reprehensible of these acts were committed after Liberty School District officials had reasonable grounds to report Zamora’s conduct to law enforcement.”
The teen reportedly admitted to the relationship after his parents found inappropriate photos of the pair on his phone. The parents brought this information to Principal Dickey, who in turn waited two hours before contacting authorities, according to court papers.
The lawsuit also claimed the boy “suffered severe emotional distress and continues to suffer severe emotional distress as a result of the sexual abuse” and that his parents were also subjected to ongoing emotional distress.
Declining to comment on the lawsuit, administrators confirmed to KNXV that Dickey was still the principal at Las Brisas Academy.
The notice concludes by mentioning that the teen’s lawsuit could be settled for $2 million while the parents’ can be settled for $250,000 each. The school district has 60 days to respond to the notice.
[Featured Image: Brittany Zamora/MCSO]