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Parents sue APS after son allegedly raped in school bathroom

The parents of a special needs student filed a federal lawsuit against Atlanta Public Schools seeking unspecified damages after their son was allegedly raped in a school bathroom by another student. 

The parents filed the lawsuit Friday, on the two-year anniversary of the alleged incident at the all-boys B.E.S.T. Academy. Their son was 16 at the time but had “the mental capacity of a 6-9-year-old” when he was allegedly assaulted by another student, who according to the complaint “had a history of mental health, violent behavioral, and emotional issues.” The suit alleges that the victim, identified as “John Doe II,” had previously suffered sexual harassment, physical abuse and bullying by students. 

The school district failed to investigate complaints raised about the alleged attacker and allowed him to roam the campus without supervision while he was supposed to be serving in-school suspension, the complaint alleges. The attacker allegedly kicked in a bathroom stall, punched the victim in the mouth, sodomized him and threatened to kill the victim during a six-minute attack. 

The suit, which also names Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and other APS employees as defendants in their official capacities, alleges APS failed in numerous ways to protect the student and seeks unspecified damages for physical, emotional and mental injuries. APS spokesman Ian Smith said the district does not comment on pending litigation. 

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The accuser is 14-years-old.

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