The parents of an Indiana boy allege that their 8-year-old son was the victim of "horrific and ghastly" sexual abuse by his second-grade classmates. The parents say the boys acted out scenes from pornographic videos that they watched at school without supervision.
The parents are identified only as John Doe and Jane Doe in order to protect the identity of their son, identified only as Junior Doe. They filed the lawsuit on Friday in Delaware County, Ind., against Ball State University, which runs the Burris Laboratory School, where the alleged abuse took place.
The alleged abuse and molestation occurred on at least 11 occasions over a three-month period in the fall of 2011, the parents say, and involved four boys (including their son).
The parents say they discovered the abuse when another parent overheard her son talking to another boy about what was going on in the bathrooms at school. When she asked her son for names, Junior Doe's name came up and she called his parents.
"You hear something of that nature, that your child basically lost his innocence forever engaging in the most private sexual acts possible with other students at school," Jason Delk, the attorney for John and Jane Doe, told ABCNews.com. "They were absolutely horrified."
"The Does discovered that due to Burris and Ball State's complete lack of supervision and institutional controls over their eight (8) year old son during the school day, Junior Doe was forced, on multiple occasions, to engage in explicit sex acts with other children and forced to perform oral sex on other children his age," the lawsuit alleges.
The parents allege that the school gave the young students "unfettered access" to the Internet, where the boys would view the videos and then "act out" the scenes on one another.
The parents believe the abuse took place in the school's bathroom, library and classroom.
They are suing the school for negligence, violation of Title IX and deprivation of constitutional rights. They are suing compensatory and punitive damages.
The parents claim that students approached their teacher "on more than one occasion" to inform her that certain boys in the class "were doing things to other boys' private parts," according to the lawsuit. The teacher, who is also being sued, allegedly told the students to sit down, stop "tattling" and took no other action.
Ball State denies the allegations.
Ball State spokesman Tony Proudfoot said in a statement that the university could confirm that it "became aware of reported concerns about allegations of inappropriate behavior among four second grade students at Burris." He said that the concerns were reported to the Indiana Department of Child Services and local law enforcement.
The prosecutor's office confirmed to the Associated Press that there was an investigation, but they would not comment on any findings.
"The allegations in the complaint of the Does bear no resemblance to the evidence or results of the investigations of the university or those of the agencies to which it was reported," Proudfoot wrote. "From this point forward, the university will vigorously defend these unwarranted allegations. Our commitment to the safety of the students at Burris and the university are of paramount importance, and we fully expect the evidence to bear this out."
Proudfoot also emphasized that no adults were alleged to be perpetrators of abuse.
Delk declined to comment on any details of the investigation.
The attorney representing the defendants did not immediately respond to request for comment.
- Family & Relationships
- Ball State University
- Burris Laboratory School