A Lockport Township High School District 205 student and her parents filed a lawsuit against the district alleging she was sexually assaulted by a junior varsity basketball player and former student in December 2022.
The lawsuit, filed Jan. 8 against the district, names Superintendent Robert McBride and Anthony Cundari, assistant superintendent for personnel.
The district, McBride and Cundari “exhibited an utter indifference and conscious disregard” for the girl, according to the lawsuit, because they knew of previous sexual assault complaints made against the accused student and didn’t follow district policy for harassment, behavior and code of conduct.
In a statement, McBride stated the district does not comment on the specific details regarding litigation involving students to protect their privacy, but that district officials are always responsive when students violate school rules.
“Realistically, we know that at times our students might behave in ways we wish they would not, and when that happens, we immediately address the behavior, partner with the police and other outside agencies when circumstances require such, take actions to support victims and move quickly to address student misconduct,” he said in the statement.
Timothy Keiser, one of the attorneys representing the girl and her parents, said she “is a tough young woman,” as she and her family seek justice.
“The impact on not just her but her family as a result, I can’t really put it into words how significant and impactful it has been,” Keiser said. “Their primary goal throughout all this has been to bring attention to what has happened, not just at Lockport 205 and presumably at other places, and to prevent this from happening in the future.”
The 14-year-old sophomore girl and the basketball player rode on a District 205 bus to Victor J. Andrew High School in suburban Tinley Park on Dec. 9, 2022, for a game, according to the lawsuit.
After the junior varsity game when the varsity game began, the two left the gym without supervision and walked throughout the school, until he took her into an empty stairwell and began touching her inappropriately, according to the lawsuit.
When she resisted, he forced himself on her, according to the lawsuit. She did not consent to any sexual activity, and when she cried out for help, he told her to be quiet, according to the lawsuit.
He stopped when he heard the approaching footsteps of an Andrew High School employee, who saw him pulling up his pants, the lawsuit stated, adding that the employee called school security personnel, who responded immediately.
After the game, he was arrested, authorities said. He eventually transferred schools without being expelled from Lockport, according to the lawsuit.
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The lawsuit also alleges the same boy had a history of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse involving two other female students.
In fall 2021, a 14-year-old girl told a teacher the boy touched her inappropriately in a school stairwell, and in March 2022, another girl told a district employee he violently sexually assaulted her, according to the lawsuit.
Police investigated both cases and district personnel were notified, according to the lawsuit, but he wasn’t punished or supervised while around girls, according to the lawsuit.
“The District 205 defendants owed a duty to all students at Lockport … to supervise and monitor students who pose a real and immediate danger to their fellow students and to protect all students from harassment, intimidation and sexual assault,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000. Allison Dolan, an attorney representing the girl and her family, said they hope the lawsuit ensures a situation like this doesn’t happen again.
The District 205 statement said officials welcome having the facts heard in an appropriate legal venue that protects student privacy, illustrates their commitment to student safety and demonstrates the responsiveness of the district.