Most defendants settle in Connecticut teen assault lawsuit

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Six of seven men sued in connection with the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl at a New Year's Eve party when they were all Connecticut middle school students have settled claims against them made in the victim's lawsuit.

The victim, now a 20-year-old college student, accused six of the men of touching her inappropriately when she was drunk at the party in 2009 at one of their homes in Madison, Connecticut. The seventh defendant was accused of taking a photo of her during the assaults and showing it to others.

Three of the settlements came within the past month as the case neared trial, according to court documents obtained Friday by The Associated Press. All seven men's parents also were sued for being liable for their children's actions and all have settled, according to the documents.

Most of the cases were settled in mediation. Details were not disclosed, with some attorneys citing confidentiality agreements.

Claims remain pending in state Superior Court in New Haven against the seventh man, who has failed to respond to the allegations, court records show. The lawsuit accuses him of sexual assault and false imprisonment, for holding her down during the assaults.

The Associated Press generally does not name sexual assault victims and juvenile offenders.

Five of the men were arrested on sexual assault and other charges as juveniles and sentenced to probation and community service, according to some parents of the defendants.

Matthew Auger, a lawyer for the victim, declined to comment. Several lawyers for the defendants also declined to comment.

The victim and her mother also sued Madison school officials on allegations that they allowed several boys involved in the assault to remain at her middle school afterward, traumatizing her for weeks. The school system settled that lawsuit last year for about $35,000, according to court documents.

At the time of the assault, the victim and the defendants were students at Polson Middle School in Madison. The lawsuit against the school system said school officials learned about the assaults about 11 days after the party but took no disciplinary action against the boys.

The boys were allowed to stay at the school for weeks, until they voluntarily withdrew after they were arrested, according to the lawsuit. The girl also said she was subjected to repeated harassment and intimidation by the boys and their friends.

The lawsuit against the seven men and their parents drew media scrutiny after it was filed in 2011 because a judge temporarily sealed the entire case from public view without explanation. Lawyers for the victim and defendants asked another judge to permanently seal the case, but the judge rejected the request after opposition from the AP.

Judge Jonathan Silbert noted the case involved a number of issues of social importance, including parental responsibility.


This story has been corrected to show the Madison school system settled a lawsuit by the victim and her mother for $35,000, not $15,000.