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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah teenager who was one of three victims in a teacher sex case filed a second lawsuit this week against the school district alleging that officials didn't do enough to protect students.
The student and his parents are seeking at least $1 million in damages from the Davis County School District, alleging that officials knew English teacher Brianne Altice, 36, was behaving inappropriately with students.
The student was 16 and 17 at the time. The Associated Press does not generally name minors who police say are victims of sex abuse. District spokesman Chris Williams declined to comment Wednesday.
Altice is serving at least two years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse charges stemming from allegations that she had sex with 16-and-17-year-old students in 2013.
The student's family initially filed a similar lawsuit in state court but withdrew the case in June after state attorneys cited a Utah law that protects schools from liability when students are assaulted. The latest lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Utah.
Attorneys for the family argued a federal judge can hear the case because the student's rights were violated under a federal gender discrimination law known as Title IX that bars sexual harassment or a hostile education environment. Attorneys also argued the student's constitutional rights to equal protection were violated.
The family's attorneys said in the lawsuit that a running joke at the high school was "Who is Ms. Altice sleeping with now?" The lawsuit alleges the school knew about Altice's alleged sexual misconduct with minors before she began teaching at Davis High School in 2012 and before she began having sexual relationships with students, school officials reprimanded Altice for inappropriate dress and behavior.
The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the lawsuit Tuesday night.
The parents of one of the other teenage victims also sued the school, but a judge dismissed the case earlier this month, citing the school immunity law. Lindy Hamilton, a lawyer for that family, said she plans to appeal the decision.
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