The Justice Department on Thursday filed a brief in the case of a male student accused of raping a girl who was allegedly used as bait by an Alabama school to catch the boy after repeated sexual offenses, The Huntsville Times reported.
According to the paper, court records show the girl, 14, was sexually assaulted at Sparkman Middle School in January 2010 after teacher’s aide June Simpson told her to go into the boys’ restroom with the 16-year-old male student, who had reportedly been harassing several girls and asking them to have sex with him.
Simpson reportedly told the girl that the school administration could punish the boy if someone could “catch him in the act.”
The DOJ’s rare amicus brief supports the lawsuit filed by the family of the girl against the Madison County School Board in Alabama, according to CNN.
"A school board cannot avoid summary judgment as a matter of law when a school administrator willfully ignores a plan to use a 14-year-old special-needs student as bait to catch a student with a known history of sexual and violent misconduct, and as a result, the student is sodomized," reads the federal brief filed by the DOJ.
After the attack, police were called and the girl was taken to a hospital, where a rape kit was taken, her family’s attorney, Eric Artrip, told CNN. The kit produced evidence of trauma "consistent with [the girl] being sodomized,” the station reported.
School officials said they were unable to confirm an incident had happened, because the boy had not been caught in the act.
The boy accused in the rape case has a history of sexual misconduct prior to and following the attack that prompted action by the DOJ.
The girl never went back to Sparkman, and the boy was sent to an alternative school for 20 days. While there, a teacher allegedly caught the boy watching pornography on a school computer. He later returned to the middle school.
According to The Huntsville Times report, court records show that the boy continued to engage in sexual misconduct following the alleged rape in 2010 of the 14-year-old girl, whose parents filed a lawsuit saying the school used her as bait to trap the alleged perpetrator.
The boy’s disciplinary file, which is part of the court record, involves a string of behaviors deemed sexual in nature that prompted disciplinary action by the school, including out-of-school suspensions.
Teacher’s aide June Simpson resigned shortly after the 2010 incident.
"My client has gone from being a teacher's aide to being a scapegoat," Simpson's attorney told CNN.