A deeply disturbing lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court accuses the Culver City Unified School District of failing to supervise its students, with a particular eye on three football players and one former student who has since transferred and moved to Chicago to escape the trauma she allegedly suffered at those football players’ hands.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times and L.A. NBC affiliate KNBC, the mother of a former Culver City freshman has filed suit against the district because of a series of sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated against her daughter. The unnamed juvenile victim was allegedly assaulted in December 2013 by three members of the Culver City football team. One of those athletes, Jeremy Weaver, was 18 at the time of the assaults and has been named in court documents detailing his involvement in the incidents. After the series of rapes were originally reported in early 2014, Weaver was arrested in January 2014 and charged with four felonies: three counts of illegal sex acts with a minor and one count of dissuading a witness. Yet the then 18-year-old was only convicted on one count of illegal sex acts with a minor and was not forced to serve any jail time.
No punishment was meted out against the other unnamed minor football players who were allegedly involved in the rapes.
The new suit goes into significant and disturbing detail about the nature of the attacks, which began after Weaver and one of the other players invited the teen to hang out during a school period in the parking lot and listen to music. Weaver allegedly raped the teen on two consecutive days, with the aid of two different teammates, and the three students then raped her repeatedly over the course of three weeks on campus leading up to the Christmas break. Some of the rapes were illicitly videotaped, with that video footage then shared among other students as a mark of the girl’s promiscuity.
This new suit calls out the school district in particular, and makes detailed reference to the acts that followed the victim and her mother first reporting the rapes in January 2014. At that time, the victim and her mother reported the incidents to school authorities, but rather than having the players be immediately punished, they were free to physically intimidate her in an attempt to bully the victim into retracting her story.
The victim has twice changed schools since the incident in an attempt to escape having to interact with Weaver and her other two alleged attackers. Most dramatically, she and her mother moved to Chicago to escape the entire area, perhaps after she had attempted to commit suicide in the traumatic aftermath of her attacks.
On Tuesday evening, one of the unnamed football players in the lawsuit spoke to Los Angeles CBS affiliate KTLA to provide his side of the story, insisting that he never had sex with the girl, but that he witnessed other teammates have consensual sex with her multiple times.
“Room 57 … that was like the playground of all dirty things,” the former student told KTLA. “The assistant principals … they knew mostly a lot of everything that went down. They even caught us a couple of times.”
For its part, the Culver City school district remains steadfast in defending its handling of the situation, as made clear in this statement from superintendent Dave LaRose.
“We recently became aware of a lawsuit that was filed against the Culver City Unified District regarding an incident in December, 2013. CCUSD and our entire community believe the health, welfare and safety of our students is paramount, and we responded immediately and cooperatively to this incident with the Culver City Police Department.
“While I cannot comment about specific details regarding the allegations contained in the lawsuit, our District will remain unwavering in our commitment to protect the children we serve and respond aggressively to any action that challenges this priority.”