Lawsuit claims South Sanpete County School District failed to protect student after sex assault

Local News

GUNNISON (News4Utah)- A lawsuit has been filed against the South Sanpete County School District and other school officials for failing to act after a young man at Gunnison Valley High School claims he was sexually harassed by fellow members of the football team.

The lawsuit comes after charges were filed against the 16-year-old teammate alleged to have assaulted the teen while two students reportedly helped hold him down.

“Student #2 and Student #3 restrained Child Doe, tackling and pinning him to the ground, while Student #1 rubbed his penis, testicles, and buttock all over the face of Child Doe,” the lawsuit stated.

The alleged attacker was charged with six counts of object rape and five counts of forcible sex abuse.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday, Attorney Robert Sykes states school officials “treated this conduct as normal ‘horseplay’ between boys or, at worst, some form of acceptable hazing”.

Sykes claims they “gave at least three male students at Gunnison Valley High School a free pass to continue—and escalate—their abuse of Child Doe and other students”.

 “We also think what is really telling is the response or lack of response by those in charge including the superintendent and principal the vice principal….with ‘boys will be boys.’ this is just locker room stuff. it’s just harmless was the implication,” said the victim’s mother said at a press conference Thursday. 

The lawsuit states since the time of the initial attack at least 15 other students have come forward with other accounts of victimization. 

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