Third day of testimony in LISD lawsuit

Scales of justice (Stock photo via iStock)


Jurors heard a third day of testimony Wednesday in federal court in Sherman in a Title IX lawsuit against Lewisville ISD.  The plaintiff, now 19 years old, was a 14-year-old freshman at Hebron High School 9th Grade campus when she says she was drugged and raped at an off-campus party by two Hebron football players in October of 2012.

The lawsuit against Lewisville ISD stems from her claim that the district failed to properly investigate afterward and prevent or address on-campus bullying that she says happened to her after being raped.  The Lewisville Texan Journal is not naming the girl or any of the accused because they were minors, and the boys were not charged with a crime.

On Wednesday, according to the Sherman Denison Herald Democrat, former Hebron Principal Mark Dalton testified for hours answering questions about the district’s handling of its own investigation, required under federal Title IX law.  He testified that they waited on police to complete an investigation before doing their own.  Dalton said that the district began its investigation in January and completed it in February.  The rape was alleged to have occurred in October.  Of the investigation, Dalton told the court that they didn’t find a preponderance of evidence necessary to conclude that a sexual assault took place.  He said the the boys told him it was consensual.

School counselor Debra Whitehead took the stand again Wednesday after testifying Tuesday as well.  Plaintiff’s attorneys asked her why she didn’t begin an investigation into the bullying against the girl.  She answered that she thought the investigation into the sexual assault was more important.

Lastly, the girl’s mother testified about the morning after the party at which the girl said she was raped.  She said that when the girl came home the next morning, she went straight to her room, where her mother found her in bed crying.  The mother was not able to get any information from the girl about what happened to her.  She also described her daughter’s reaction to bullying at school.

For the full details from the courtroom Wednesday, including summaries of the testimony, please read the article on the Herald Democrat.

On Thursday, the mother is expected to continue testimony.  The current principal at Hebron, Amanda Werneke, who was an assistant principal and led the district’s investigation of the incident is expected to testify Thursday as well.

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


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