Oklahoma school district sued in wrestling team assault case

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The father of an Oklahoma boy who authorities say was sexually assaulted by high school wrestlers is suing the school district.

The Oklahoman reports the father filed the suit against Norman Public Schools on Wednesday in Cleveland County District Court. The dad says lax supervision led to his 12-year-old son being attacked three times during a school-sanctioned trip to a wrestling tournament in January 2016. He says his son sustained emotional distress and physical harm.

The lawsuit also says the school district didn't provide adequate training to staff, which could've stopped or prevented the incident.

District spokeswoman Alesha Leemaster declined to comment on the lawsuit.

"Upon notification of the incident, we took immediate action and suspended the students involved, dismissed a volunteer adjunct coach and suspended a second coach pending the investigation, who then resigned," Leemaster said.

Police say two boys, ages 12 and 16 at the time, were assaulted by upperclassmen during the trip. Younger wrestlers were on the bus because the junior varsity team included middle-school students.

Police say four wrestlers accused in the attack used their fingers to perpetrate multiple sexual assaults on their teammates on a school bus and in the Norman North High School parking lot.

Four wrestlers were charged with rape by instrumentation. All but one of the students' cases have been dismissed or moved to juvenile court.

Charges against two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old have been dropped, and their cases stemming from the incident have been moved to juvenile court. An 18-year-old still faces three felony counts of rape by instrumentation. His case is scheduled for a hearing April 6 in Garvin County District Court.


Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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