SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — A federal lawsuit alleges that nine male students kidnapped and raped another student at a Sabine Parish school in January 2020.
The civil petition submitted Thursday in the Western District of Louisiana goes on to claim that the attack in a locker room at Many High was recorded and that the video was posted on the internet.
The child’s stepmother states that she was not told about the sexual assault until three days after it happened. And the person who informed her was some random citizen who flagged her down on the side of a road and showed her the video.
The 45-page civil document filed by her and the child’s father alleges that several people in places of authority:
- failed to report the assault as mandated by law,
- failed to accept a report about or investigate the attack, and/or,
- failed to prosecute those who are responsible for the assault.
Among the defendants are:
- the town of Many,
- Many Mayor Kenneth Freeman,
- Many Police Chief Kyle Cook and some of his officers,
- the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office and some of its deputies,
- Sabine District Attorney Don Burkett and his office,
- the Sabine Parish School Board and some school district employees, including an assistant principal and two coaches.
Other assertions and/or claims made in the lawsuit are that:
- One of the coaches walked in on the attack,
- A different child was attacked the previous day, and,
- Other children possibly had been assaulted before then.
The plaintiffs claim that an investigation was begun only after they went to Louisiana State Police after having approached some of the town’s police officers and some sheriff’s deputies.
That investigation led to warrants being obtained for the arrests of six people.
Among other things, the lawsuit further alleges that:
- there was a conspiracy to punish and silence the alleged victims,
- some of the alleged attackers contacted the victim of the sexual assault via text message after it happened,
- The victim and his family have lived in fear and stress since the suspects were released from detention on minimal bonds that were not enforced.
- certain officials and citizens conspired to produce letters of recommendation, written on School Board letterhead, in support of favorable and lenient treatment of the alleged rapists,
- the accused were allowed to attend school while out on bond,
- a father promised to release “private, damning and illegal information concerning the DA” if his child got in trouble for his alleged involvement in the rape.