Former Myers Park HS student sues school district over handling of rape allegations

Questions of how the incident was handled were first raised in WBTV investigation
A sign sits at an entrance to Myers Park High School
A sign sits at an entrance to Myers Park High School(Nick Ochsner)
Updated: Nov. 2, 2018 at 7:51 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A former Myers Park High School student who reported being sexually assaulted by a fellow student in the woods behind the school has filed a lawsuit over the way school officials handled the incident.

The incident happened in November 2015.

The student, who is not identified in the lawsuit, spoke with WBTV weeks after the reported sexual assault as part of an investigation into allegations both school administrators and investigators at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department failed to handle the reported sexual assault appropriately.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is listed as the defendant in the complaint, along with the CMPD officer who was assigned to Myers Park HS as a school resource officer and took the initial report of the incident and the assistant principal who also responded to the incident.

Previous story: Parents question CMPD handling of reported sexual assault

The lawsuit accuses the CMPD officer, Bradley Leak, of failing to take the student’s report of sexual assault seriously. As a result, the lawsuit alleges, the officer misled the student’s father into thinking his daughter was not in distress and, later, convinced others at CMPD to not investigate the girl’s report of having been sexually assaulted.

“CMS, by and through its officials, failed to take her complaint to investigate or resolve the sexual violence as required under Title IX,” the lawsuit says.

“Furthermore, Defendant Leak discouraged her from taking action by suggesting she could be arrested for a false report. He then filed a false report with CMPD claiming Ms. Doe skipped school without any mention of the rape, which obstructed her criminal complaint. As a result, Q.W. suffered no disciplinary or criminal action for the reported rape of Ms. Doe,” it continues.

A spokesman for CMS declined to comment for this story, citing the ongoing litigation.

A spokeswoman for CMPD said the department was not aware of the lawsuit until Friday and respond to the allegations in court.

Among the lawsuit’s claims of ways in which CMPD mishandled the investigation into the reported sexual assault, was the fact that a total of eight 911 calls regarding the incident went unanswered while the girl and her mother were at the hospital having a rape kit done.

The lawsuit says the school and its school resource officer failed to take proper steps to respond to the girl’s complaint.

“As a direct and proximate result of Defendant CMS’s deliberate indifference, by and through its agents, Ms. Doe sustained and continues to sustain injuries for which she is entitled to be compensated,” the lawsuit says.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.