Lawsuit: 2 students with special needs sexually abused by classmate at Lowcountry high school

Updated: Sep. 13, 2019 at 4:27 AM EDT
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ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A lawsuit filed against the Orangeburg Consolidated School District states two special needs students at Edisto High School were sexually abused by a special needs classmate.

Attorney Justin Bamberg said the “horrific incidents” were committed while under the care and supervision of teachers and school officials.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged assaults took place when the school’s normal special education teacher took a leave of absence and a substitute took over the special education class.

Attorneys are expected to give a press conference on the lawsuit Friday morning.

A press release states that attorneys filed suits on behalf of the families of each student alleging that the minor special needs students were sexually abused on multiple occasions earlier this year, while in school, by a classmate who suffers from severe intellectual disabilities.

“The complaint alleges negligence, gross negligence and negligence per se against the Orangeburg Consolidated School District (OCSD) and its employees,” attorneys said.

Attorneys say that one of the special needs students who was abused was not to be left alone while on campus.

According to the lawsuit, one student entered the bathroom and was forced to perform oral sex on another student. The suit also states that the student was forced to have sex at least five times.

“In spite of that mandate, the student was left alone as he went to the bathroom and the perpetrator followed him into the bathroom and committed several sexual acts against his will,” attorneys said.

According to Bamberg, the complaints contend that a substitute teacher was in place during much of the time period when the sexual abuse repeatedly took place and the students were not properly monitored.

Bamberg said the students who were sexually abused suffered bodily injury, pain and suffering and mental anguish following the incidents.

The victims and their parents are not being identified because the victims are minors.

Bamberg said the student responsible for the sexual abuse was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, a felony. According to the lawsuit, the student was also expelled from the school.

The lawsuit states one victim is now homeschooled.

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