Lawsuit: Teenage girl expelled from Warren school after forced by athlete to perform oral sex
Teenage girl sues Warren schools, alleging sex discrimination
WARREN, Mich. – A former Cousino High School student is suing Warren Consolidated Schools, claiming she was expelled from the Warren school after a student made unwanted sexual advances toward her in the school parking lot.
The lawsuit claims the 15-year-old girl was a freshman at Cousino High School when she met the 18-year-old senior, who played on the school's basketball and football teams and ran track.
According to the lawsuit, the two students talked on social media and, at times, flirted.
The girl said in May 2015, the senior approached her at her locker and asked if she wanted to go with him to his car to "chill." She agreed and went with him to the school parking lot, the lawsuit said.
The senior allegedly got into the back seat of a car and the girl got in next to him. The lawsuit alleges the senior unbuckled his pants and told the girl to perform oral sex on him. She started to comply, but then told him it was "gross" and that she wanted to stop, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, the senior grabbed the girl's head and forced it down toward his lap and forced her to perform oral sex. She said no multiple times, the lawsuit states, and was eventually able to get away and go back into school.
The lawsuit said she was embarrassed and afraid to talk about what happened.
Two days later, the girl was allegedly called to the school's office, where the assistant principal said there were rumors about the two students. The assistant principal allegedly told the girl that there was video proof that she had left the building during school hours.
The girl told the assistant principal that the senior had forced himself on her and that she had tried to get away, the lawsuit said. The assistant principal told the girl that she invited unwanted sexual attention because of the way she dressed, the lawsuit alleges.
The assistant principal allegedly took the girl to see a counselor at the school. The girl was told that she could be expelled from school and that she should fill out a "witness statement" form, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, the girl wrote:
"On Wednesday, May 13, 2015 ... I was at my locker preparing for class. This had been before the minute bell rang. I (saw the senior) coming towards my locker. (Another boy) was around him. He approached me. I had shut my locker, started walking with him. He said, 'Let's go to my car to chill.' Never did I think anything sexual was bound to happen. We walked to the doors to leave the building close to the gym doors. We get out to his car. I (sit) in the back behind the passenger seat, he got in the driver's seat. I was real (quiet) at first. I noticed the doors are locked, he was looking down at his phone. (I don't know) what he was doing, he seemed to be texting someone. He said to me, 'I'm hard.' I was like shocked, weirded out. Whatever. Well he unbuckled his pants, he said, 'You know what to do.' I'm in shock. He said exactly, '(to perform oral sex).' Very exact. So I started, his hand was on my (buttocks) under clothing, he touched my (breasts). I said, 'Stop, this is gross, nasty.' He said, 'Oh well,' took his left hand, put it on the back of my head and put my mouth (on him) and pushed it to move faster. I eventually was able to remove his hand with my right hand and said, 'I'm done.' I exited the vehicle and checked back into (school)."
The lawsuit said the girl was not allowed to talk to her parents before being questioned. After allegedly being questioned and threatened with expulsion, the girl contacted the senior and told him that she hadn't said anything to the school administrators because she didn't want him to retaliate against her, according to the lawsuit.
Four days later, the school allegedly took a statement from the senior. The lawsuit said he claimed the two students had planned to engage in sexual activity and that the oral sex was consensual.
On June 29, 2015, the girl was expelled from school, according to the lawsuit. When she appealed her expulsion, the review panel allegedly upheld her expulsion.
The lawsuit alleges that at the time of the incident, the district was aware of at least one other allegation of nonconsensual sexual contact by the senior.
The 18-year-old senior was not expelled and graduated from Cousino High School. He now attends college in Ohio, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleges the girl was subjected to sex-based discrimination by officials at the school district.
Here are some of the specific allegations made in the lawsuit:
- The district allegedly treated the girl and the senior differently in its handling of the incident
- The girl was allegedly interviewed immediately without her parents present and the senior was allegedly interviewed days later with his mother present
- It alleges the girl was immediately suspended while the senior allegedly participated in a track meet the same day the alleged incident was reported.
- The girl was expelled while the senior graduated
- The district also allegedly failed to provide any information regarding Title IX to the girl and failed to conduct any Title IX investigation into her claims.
- The girl has allegedly suffered financial damages, emotional distress and psychological harm. Her education and future employment prospects have allegedly been harmed, and her character and standing in the community have allegedly suffered from the sex discrimination she experienced, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit "demands a jury trial" in connection with the alleged incident.
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