The Brentwood Academy, a prestigious private "Christian" school in Williamson County, Tennessee, is feeling a little tarnish on their reputation this week after being accused of allowing teenage boys to repeatedly rape a 12-year-old boy, downplaying the assaults, and refusing to report them to authorities.
And now they’re set to face a 30 million lawsuit, filed by the parent of that boy; the suit says four eighth-grade boys repeatedly raped and sexually assaulting her son during the 2014-15 school year and that Brentwood Academy Headmaster Curtis Masters told the rape victim to "turn the other cheek" and that "everything in God's kingdom happens for a reason."
Like a $30 million lawsuit, eh? It happened like this ...
On five separate dates during the 2014-15 school year, four eighth-grade boys at Brentwood Academy sexually assaulted “John Doe”.
The first incident occurred at an after-school football game party, where several students restrained John Doe, placing their buttocks on his face and their scrotums , or into, his mouth.
On four other dates, four male students and others “conspired to engage in male on male sexual harassment, sexual assault and/or rape upon John Doe in the locker room not supervised by an adult."
In January and February of 2015, one boy would call John Doe’s name in the locker room and then two boys held the doors to the locker room closed while a fourth boy raped John Doe. The rapist forced his penis into John Doe’s mouth while those around him 'eat it, eat it;’ that same boy would then anally rape John Doe.
The boy later bragged that he "f---ed that boy up the ass and stuck a Gatorade bottle in him."
And it appears there were other boys in the locker room who took part in the rape by watching and doing nothing to stop it; there is some evidence, however, that at least some of those onlookers, told their parents of the assaults because, in April 2015, the mother of a sixth-grade student told John Doe's mother about the assaults.
John Doe's mother immediately went to the school and spoke with counselor Chris Roberts, an employee of Christian counseling ministry Daystar Counseling; in the lawsuit, is accused of not reporting the rape allegations to authorities, and instead telling Jane Doe that this is not how "Christian institutions handle these things."
Oddly enough, though, Tennessee law requires counselors and school officials to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
When Jane Doe took her son to a pediatrician who instantly contacted the Department of Children Services. That must have worked, because a few days later, middle school director Nancy Brasher, right, called Jane Doe after discussing the allegations with Headmaster Curtis Masters, right, and middle school athletic director Buddy Alexander.
The lawsuit claims that Nancy Brasher initially accused John Doe of being at fault for not reporting the attacks, and that it could not be true “because the four students had been removed from the locker room in January 2015.”
Well, first blame the victim, and then provide an alibi for the rapists, eh, Nancy?
During an April 20 meeting with John Doe’s mother and father, Headmaster Masters said he considered the allegations to be “boys being boys and he could not investigate each of those and run a school.”
You know, it’s just rape, and he has better things to do.
But then, at some point after that meeting, Masters said the boy who raped John Doe admitted to him that some of the allegations were true. And yet nothing was done; well, except that the Headmaster told John Doe to “turn the other cheek” and that one of the students would receive an in-school suspension. He also offered John Doe the option of changing in and out of his gym clothes in Masters’ office until cameras were placed in the locker room.
Just so, you know, maybe he wouldn’t be raped again ... and again.
In addition to the Headmaster Curtis, Nancy Brasher, and Buddy Alexander, the suit also accuses assistant basketball coach Lyle Husband and sixth-grade basketball coach Mike Vazquez of negligence leading to the continued attacks on John Doe.
In response to the lawsuit, Masters emailed this statement to the media:
"Our highest priority is the safety and protection 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. We are obligated 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."
Jane Doe and her son are seeking $30 million in total damages and demanding a jury trial. I hope they get every penny, and I hope they get a jury trial; I hope the media follows this lawsuit carefully and that the oh-so-tony Brentwood Academy gets shut down for good.