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Chicago school board sued over child's alleged abduction, rape

October 24, 2012 4:46:41 PM PDT
Her parents say she was sexually assaulted after being lured away from school property by a stranger back in May.

On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed against Chicago Board of Education, claiming a teacher saw the child with her attacker but failed to take action.

The lawsuit claims a teacher at John Cook Elementary School called out to the student as she walked with an unknown man, and even took photos, but failed to call authorities.

The board would not confirm the allegations against them or the teachers, saying only at this time they have not been able to review the lawsuit.

"She clearly should have done something more than yell her name and take the pictures. It's a reckless disregard for the child's safety," said family attorney Jeff Deutschman.

Deutschman showed photos, which he says were taken on May 11 by a school teacher at Auburn Gresham's John Cook Elementary.

He said they show a then 11-year old student being led away from school by an unknown man.

Deutschman said the girl was raped by this man a short time later.

Her family is now suing the Chicago Board of Education.

"A teacher who knew this little girl, saw her in front of the school with this man, saw her being led away, called out to her and had the presence of mind to take three photographs of her," Deutschman said. "She did not call police, she doesn't call school security, she doesn't call the principal, she reports it to no one. And reports it to the parents at the end of the day at 5 p.m."

Police Wednesday confirmed that the sexual assault was reported on the date these photos were allegedly taken, but say that the man arrested was released without being charged pending further investigation.

Deutschman blames the hospital where the girl was treated for losing the rape kit, but as the lawsuit states, "The Chicago Board of Education was guilty of willful and wanton misconduct."

Parents at John Cook Elementary were shocked when they heard about the lawsuit Wednesday.

"That's crazy. That's scary," said parent Aourertha Johnson.

"I think they should be held accountable, yes, yes," said Johnnie Currie. "Especially if she took the pictures and it wasn't reported till 5 p.m. Why did it take her so long?"

Deutschman says the girl, now 12, is still undergoing counseling, and was severely traumatized.

The teacher in question is not identified in the lawsuit, but he says she's still employed by the school.

The lawsuit does not ask for the teacher's removal. They do, however, seek damages against the Chicago Board of Education.


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