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Lawsuit Filed Against North Penn Schools Says Student Was Repeatedly Sexually Assaulted By Peer

North Penn Schools Student Jane began 7th grade at Pennbrook Middle School and was admitted to take part-time classes at North Montco Tech.
North Penn Schools Student Jane began 7th grade at Pennbrook Middle School and was admitted to take part-time classes at North Montco Tech. Photo Credit: Google Maps

A Montgomery County school district is accused in a lawsuit of failing to protect a female student who was allegedly sexually assaulted more than 20 times by one of her male peers for five years beginning in elementary school

The suit was filed against the North Penn School District with the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania on Oct. 15 by Laura E. Laughlin, Esq., on behalf of the alleged victim identified only as Jane Due (see complaint attached).

Doe was sexually assaulted more than 20 times by a classmate identified only as "MP," who was "known with sexual predation," according to the complaint.

Upon learning that Doe was among several other alleged victims of the boy, the district failed to protect her, the complaint alleges.

Due to the lack of action by the district, Doe was again subject to the boy's abuse in high school when she was placed in the same class as him and seated next to him, despite Doe being assured by the district that wouldn't happen, the lawsuit says.

A spokeswoman for the North Penn District declined comment to Daily Voice and said only that a response to the allegations will be made through appropriate legal procedings.

Doe was a sixth grader at Gwynedd Square Elementary School in October 2014 when the abuse began, the suit says. Teachers witnessed the boy sexually assault Doe but did not report it to the district, the complaint says.

By April 2015, Doe was among four girls alleging sexual assault by MP, and she had been sexually assaulted with MP touching her breasts and vagina -- sometimes penetrating her with his fingers -- more than 10 times, the lawsuit says.

Doe transferred schools that fall to avoid possible further abuse, the suit says.

"She sacrificed educational opportunities and social ties because she and her family had no faith that the district would protect Ms. Doe from MP so long as they shared a school," the complaint reads. "She was right."

The assault continued five years later, when Doe and MP were enrolled in the same high school in 2018. The district promised Doe and her family to keep her separated from MP, but the two were placed in the same social studies class -- and seated right next to each other, the complaint alleges.

MP's abuse continued, and Doe was sexually assaulted 10 more times by the boy before she left the district, the suit says.

"Over the course of the last five years, the District has left Ms. Doe and her family with no choice but to transfer schools, and ultimately be home schooled, in order to ensure Ms. Doe's well-being and safety," the lawsuit reads.

Meanwhile, MP was allowed to continue his schooling in the district without any meaningful consequences, the complaint says -- robbing Doe of her elementary, middle and high school experiences; her emotional and physical well-being and more.

Doe had an existing ADHD diagnosis and problems with anxiety, but was diagnosed by the North Penn district's psychologist with emotional disturbance in May 2019, as a new primary disability, the suit alleges.

Doe is seeking injunctive relief and damages, including compensation for physical and psychological pain (both past and present), medical bills and associated costs (past and future), impaired educational capacity and future earning capacity, and attorney's costs and fees.

The North Penn School District serves students from North Wales Borough, Lansdale Borough, Hatfield Borough, Upper Gwynedd Township, Towamencin Township, Montgomery Township, and Hatfield Township. 

See Attachment

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