A federal jury has ruled the Lewisville school district did not retaliate against a ninth-grader who accused two football players of raping her at an off-campus party in 2012.
The girl filed a lawsuit against the school district alleging Title IX violations after reporting that she was raped by two Hebron 9th Grade Center football players in 2012, according to federal court documents.
The lawsuit claimed that the school district’s “deliberately indifferent response” and “failure to promptly and appropriately investigate and respond to multiple sexual assaults” denied the girl access to educational opportunities.
But jurors who deliberated two days ruled against the girl.
“We knew, going into this, that we had an uphill battle in front of us. But we went forward because we thought it was the right thing to do,” the girl’s attorney, Charla Aldous of Dallas, said in an email. “We were realistic about it: I advised my client and her parents that it was very difficult to win a Title IX sexual assault case against a school district. This result is proof that needs to change.”
The Star-Telegram is not identifying the girl because she was an alleged victim of a sexual assault, and the two boys are not being identified because they were minors when the case was investigated.
A Denton County grand jury declined to indict the boys in April 2013.
Lewisville school officials had denied all allegations in court documents prior to the jury’s verdict in Sherman on Wednesday.
“We agree with the jury’s decision and believe the facts clearly show district staff acted appropriately to ensure the safety of our students, “ Lewisville school district spokeswoman Amanda Brim said in an email Thursday. “The district followed very clear instructions from the Carrollton Police Department and allowed law enforcement officers to first complete their investigation before conducting our own thorough examination of the allegations.”
The lawsuit had contended that the girl, who was 14 at the time, had been sexually assaulted by two football players on Sept. 28, 2012, after she drank alcohol that was spiked with Xanax at a Carrollton home.
The girl also testified during the trial.
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.