A Denton County jury has found two former Hebron 9th Grade Center football players liable for the sexual assault of a classmate in 2012 and awarded her $32 million.
Jurors reached their decision Thursday in the 462nd District Court in Denton, awarding the 21-year-old Dallas woman $25 million in punitive damages and $7 million in compensatory damages.
A Denton County grand jury declined to indict the boys in April 2013.
The Dallas woman and her Lewisville parents filed the civil lawsuit in 2018.
The attack occurred in September 2012 at a student’s home, where the then 14-year-old girl testified she was drugged and then raped at the same time by two classmates from the Hebron 9th Grade Center. The players were 15 at the time of the rape.
“I cannot begin to tell you what this verdict means to my client,” said attorney Charla Aldous of Dallas, the attorney for the victim, in a news release. “She is a brave young woman who stood for what was right against all odds.”
One defendant testified the sex was consensual, according to the news release. The other testified by video deposition and asserted his Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.
Carrie Garcia Sanders of Dallas, an attorney for one of the defendants, could not be reached Friday for comment.
The lawsuit provided the following account of the rape:
The girl spent the night with a friend on Sept. 28, 2012, but the two ended up at a party in Carrollton that included 40 other teens, mostly football and basketball players from Hebron 9th Grade Center.
She drank alcohol spiked with Xanax and eventually passed out, first outside the home and later in a bed.
“The next memory that (she) has of that night is vomiting into a toilet in a bathroom at the home,” the lawsuit says.
A student later told her that two football players had sex with her.
This is the second lawsuit filed by the girl and her family in this case. A federal lawsuit was filed in 2014 against the Lewisville school district. 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.
A federal jury in Sherman ruled in March 2017 that the school district was not at fault.