Girl at center of Title IX case testifies against LISD

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U.S. Courthouse in Sherman, TX (Photo by Steve Southwell)

Testimony continued Thursday in a federal civil trial against Lewisville ISD with the plaintiff herself testifying.  The 19-year-old sued the district after she says it failed to protect her from bullying and retaliated against her when she accused two football players of raping her at an off-campus party in October 2012 when she was 14 years old.  Under federal law, Title IX requires educational institutions receiving federal funding to protect students from and investigate reports of sexual harassment and retaliation.

The suit was filed in 2014, and the trial started this Monday in federal district court in Sherman.

The Sherman Denison Herald Democrat has had reporter Jerrie Whiteley in the courtroom all week providing updates each day.

Neither the Herald Democrat nor the Lewisville Texan Journal are publishing the girl’s name since she was a minor at the time of the incident.  The accused boys, also minors at the time of the incident were not charged with a crime, so their names are also withheld.

According to the Herald Democrat’s report, the girl told the jury about the day after she went to the party.  She said she noticed blood in her pants, and called the boys to ask them what happened.  Upon realizing she had been raped, she was confused and sad, and felt as if she were stuck in a bad dream.

She described the situation at school the next week, saying that she was told that she had been gang raped and deserved it because she had gotten so drunk. In the lawsuit, the girl alleged that boys put Xanax bars in her drink.  She told the jury that others asked if she were pregnant and if she would have black or latino babies.  Prior testimony said the boys accused admitted to having sex with her but said it was consensual.

The girl told the jury that classmates called her a whore and told her to kill herself.  She confided in the mother of a friend, and that woman then told the girl’s mother.

She said the grand jury’s failure to indict the boys was crushing, as was the district’s rejection of her allegations.

In answer to the defense attorneys, the girl named her guidance counselor Debra Whitehead, Coach Brian Brazil, and her then-Assistant Principal Amanda Werneke.

Werneke testified that she had to wait for the police department to finish investigating before she could start her investigation, and that once she did, there was not enough evidence. She said the kids at the party had varied accounts of what happened.

There is much more detail.  To get the rest, please read the story on the Herald Democrat.

Prior stories:

Federal lawsuit against LISD goes to trial Monday

LISD civil trial begins with testimony from accused and athletic director

Title IX trial for LISD continues with girl’s father, school counselor

Third day of testimony in LISD lawsuit

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I have just read the article in your newspaper of the LISD lawsuit. This is absolutely disgusting that you would publish such a graphic accounting of this girl’s experience of her “alleged” assault. And furthermore, I’m appalled that you would try to malign an employee of this school district without knowing the facts of what occurred. Shame on you. This is an example of “fake news” that mainstream media is so known to do without gathering all the facts.

    Anita Moore

    • We have reported the case and the same court proceedings that jurors will use to render a decision. It’s not pretty, but that’s how news works. Sounds like you’ve made up your mind, but we’re still interested in finding the facts.

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