Lawsuit Alleges Neuqua Valley Officials Didn't Report Sexual Assault of a Student

By not reporting the first incident, the male student was able to assault a second girl, lawsuit says.

By Lorraine Swanson, Patch Editor (Patch Staff) | September 22, 2014 | from: http://patch.com/illinois/naperville

Indian Prairie School Dist. 204 has been slapped with a lawsuit claiming that the district was negligent in not reporting an incident in which a male student engaged in unwanted sexual conduct with a female student at Neuqua Valley High School, paving the way for a second assault.

The lawsuit, filed in DuPage County Circuit Court on September 8, claims that the same male student abused a second girl after the earlier incident.

The female student, referred to in the lawsuit as "Jane Doe," alleges that on Feb. 4, 2014, the boy held her down on a desk at Neuqua Valley against her will. The boy proceeded to grope the girl and bite her breast, according to the lawsuit.

After the second reported sexual assault, Jane Doe's mother -- "Mother Doe" -- learned of the earlier incident involving the same male student who earlier had allegedly engaged in unwanted sexual contact and physical abuse of another female student.

"The mother of the first girl approached our client's mom and said that [the male student] did the same thing to her daughter and that she reported it to the school," said Joseph Klest, Jane Doe's attorney. "

Klest said that according to their information, the male student had been disciplined by the school in the first incident.

Jane Doe and her mother reported the incident to the Naperville Police Department on Feb. 6, 2014, her attorneys said.

The lawsuit maintains that Dist. 204 and Neuqua Valley school officials disregarded the safety of Jane Doe and other students and were negligent by not referring the incident to the Department of Children and Family Services for further investigation, citing the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

Janet Buglio, spokeswoman for Dist. 204, stated in an email that "school officials had no information about an earlier similar allegation involving the student prior to the Feb. 4 incident."

Buglio did confirm that school officials were aware of the incident involving the student and Jane Doe that took place after school in February, which she said was promptly referred to Naperville police.

"Student discipline action did take place," Buglio's email continued. "The student was removed from Neuqua Valley last spring. He is not currently enrolled as a student in our district."

Due to the pending lawsuit, Buglio said the district was limited to the information it was able to share.

Klest said that his firm filed a freedom of information request with the school district seeking information about the first female student who was allegedly assaulted, but it was denied.

"They gave us the report regarding our client," Klest said. "They give you a bit of what you want. We hope to get what we want through a subpoena."

The civil suit is seeking $50,000 or more in damages, stating that Jane Doe was injured and has since endured "pain, embarrassment, humiliation, depression, anxiety and psychological damage" as a result of the alleged sexual assault.

The next court date is Dec. 8 in the DuPage County Courthouse.

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