Private school sued by parent alleging 11-year-old boy raped by four other students
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Brentwood Academy, the school's headmaster, and other employees are being sued by a former student and his mother alleging the then 11-year-old was raped by four other students on multiple occasions, including on school property.
The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $30 million.
The suit filed in the Williamson County Circuit Court claims the boy (named as John Doe) was first sexually assaulted by 14 and 15-year-old boys at the school at a party after a football game during the 2014-2015 school year. The boys allegedly placed their buttocks on the boy's face and "their scrotums on and/or in his mouth."
The following January and February of 2015, the suit claims the assaults continued in a school locker room not supervised by an adult.
On four separate dates, one of the boys allegedly held the front and or rear door to the middle school locker room closed to prevent anyone from entering or exiting. Another boy then allegedly held the boy down "in an execution posture."
The lawsuit said that's when the third of the four male students forcibly penetrated the boy's mouth and buttocks. That student, identified only as R.G., allegedly boasted about the rape to an AAU basketball team.
OTHER ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS
The suit claims previous to the assaults, the same boys intimidated, harassed, assaulted or bullied other students at the school. It says the boys verbally and physically assaulted another student in the hallway and placed him in a trash can.
"R.G.," allegedly urinated on the boy's shoe, defecated in another student's shoe, and duct taped a third student to a pole, all taking place in 2015 before the alleged rape of the plaintiff.
The suit says the school was aware of the incidents as several parents allegedly told Jane Doe they had reported incidents with their children.
NAMED IN THE LAWSUIT:
- Brentwood Academy Inc.
- Brentwood Academy,
- Headmaster Curtis G. Masters
- Daystar Counseling Board member Nancy Brasher
- Buddy Alexander
- Lyle Husband
- Mike Vazquez
AFTER THE ALLEGED RAPE
Jane Doe says she informed a counselor at Daystar Counseling, who is also a former BA employee about the alleged rape. Jane Doe claims the counselor responded to her claims "reporting this may not be the best thing to do...this isn't how Christian institutions handle these things."
The mom then took her son to a pediatrician who told the mother if Daystar Counseling wasn't going to report the alleged rape, he would report it to the Department of Children Services.
The mom and boy returned to Daystar Counseling and told although Daystar can’t call DCS, they can observe the report being made. The mother and son then called DCS and reported the incident.
A Daystar counselor said he wanted to contact Brentwood Academy regarding the situation, but the mom urged him not to make contact. The counselor said they had a lot of clients at Brentwood Academy and didn’t “want to burn any bridges.”
About five minutes after this conversation, the counselor left a voicemail on the mother’s phone saying he had contact the school.
On the same day, Masters allegedly contacted the mother and said in the past, similar reports of abuse “of when these things happened” are usually worse than the student initially reports. Masters also asked for the mom’s permission to handle the mother of one of the boys accused in the assault because there was a long standing relationship between her and the mother.
The mom then told Masters another 6th grade boy told one of the defendants about the locker room incidents, to which Masters refuted.
In the beginning of April, a Daystar board member, Brasher, told the mom she was at fault for not reporting the incidents and allegations and that “it couldn’t be true because the four students had been removed from the locker room in Jan. 2015,” at the same time the alleged incident occurred.
About 11 days later, the lawsuit says Masters admitted there were reports of bullying and harassment incidents, which he considered “boys being boys and he could not investigate each of those and run a school.”
After the April meeting, a Daystar counselor said Brentwood Academy gave them the go ahead to start an internal investigation. The victim’s parents returned to Brentwood Academy after the counseling session, where the lawsuit says Masters and Brasher said that there had been several interviews regarding the situation.
Masters allegedly said one of the boys accused of raping the victim admitted that some of the allegations were true. Masters informed the parents “two students had been separated from the Brentwood Academy community.” Masters also said one of the accused boys had gotten a lawyer and he couldn’t do anything further.
When the victim questioned Masters, the lawsuit says Headmaster Masters told the young alleged victim that he needs to “turn the other cheek” and that “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.” Masters is also accused of telling the boy “we have talked about cameras in the locker room, but until then, you can change in my office.”
There are 10 counts of the lawsuit, alleging multiple breaches of contract and confidentiality, failure to report child abuse reports, emotional distress, negligence, negligent supervision and invasion of privacy.
A spokesperson for Brentwood Academy provided the following statement to Fox 17 News:
"Our highest priority is the protection and safety of our students. We take any allegation involving our students very seriously. We responded immediately and fully cooperated with authorities when we became aware of concerns in 2015. It is our policy and obligation to maintain confidentiality in any legal matter. Out of respect for all parties involved, and based on the advice of our legal counsel, we are unable to discuss details at this time."