The family of a former student at La Vernia High School says a basketball coach knew the boy was being sexually assaulted by his teammates and did nothing. KSAT-TV
The family of a former student at La Vernia High School says a basketball coach knew the boy was being sexually assaulted by his teammates and did nothing. KSAT-TV

National

Student screamed ‘as loud as he could’ during rape. Coach did nothing, suit says

By Crystal Hill

chill@mcclatchy.com

February 09, 2018 05:17 PM

All the other players had left the locker room, but two of the boy’s teammates stayed behind, the suit said.

The two upperclassmen held the student down and sexually assaulted him, according to the federal lawsuit. The boy recalls “screaming and yelling as loud as he could.”

After the assault, he went to the basketball court, the suit said, where his teammates were laughing, “knowing exactly what had happened.” The coach was also on the court, and it had become clear that he’d heard the student shouting but ignored the assault and “did nothing,” the suit said.

That was one of many sex assaults he’d endure by his teammates at his high school in La Vernia, Texas (about 30 miles east of San Antonio), the suit said. They happened more times than the student could count, the suit says, but the victim estimates they occurred at least 30 times while he was a student from October 2016 to February 2017.

The boy was raped at the La Vernia High School gym locker room, the gym shower, during basketball practice at the school and at other schools’ gyms, usually by the same two teammates, according to the lawsuit filed Jan. 23 by the victim’s family.

One of the assaults happened sometime between December and January in the gym locker room, the suit said. But this time the coach didn’t just hear the boy being raped, he also saw it happening, the boy’s family says, and he wasn’t the only one.

The suit says most if not all of the basketball team was around while it went on. But the coach walked away and no one intervened, the suit said.

Despite being aware of what was going on, the suit says, the coach didn’t investigate or report the “criminal acts,” which he’s required to do as an employee of the district.

The most recent assaults allegedly happened shortly before the arrests last year of 13 La Vernia High School students on charges of sexual assault in connection with a hazing scandal at the school, The San Antonio Express-News reported.

The lawsuit comes after another family filed one last April that claims the school “turned a blind eye” to hazing rituals that involved sodomy and physical and sexual abuse, The Daily Beast reported.

Gary Patterson, the district’s interim superintendent, told The Express-News the board of trustees has been briefed twice on the lawsuit by the district’s attorneys.

“We’re looking forward to resolution of these issues and are awaiting the results of the Texas Ranger investigation to assist the district as we move forward,” Patterson said.

The boy has transferred to another school, the suit said.

The family seeks a jury trial and at least $1 million in damages.

A former member of the U.S. national gymnastics team described being sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar and gave an unflattering portrayal of the Karolyi training ranch in Texas. Mattie Larson said the Karolyi ranch outside Huntsvill

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