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The family of a black mentally disabled high school football player in Idaho has filed a $10-million lawsuit against the school district after he was allegedly “brutally raped” with a coat hanger by white teammates.
The suit claims the incident happened inside a high school locker room last October following months of racially motivated bullying, harassment, and assaults that had been brought to the school’s attention.
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The three players accused of carrying out the attack allegedly restrained the victim Oct. 23, 2015, shoved a coat hanger into the victim’s anus, and then kicked the hanger several times causing serious injuries.
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“I screamed,” the victim told investigators, according to MagicValley老域名购买. “I was pretty upset. I felt really bad. A little bit betrayed and confused at the same time. It was terrible — a pain I’ve never felt.”
“They’re merely allegations at this point but they’re of course serious allegations for any school district,” former Idaho Attorney General David Leroy told KTVB.
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The family alleges Dietrich School District and 11 employees failed to address the abuses, which included the victim being forced to fight teammate John Howard, a white 18-year-old from Texas who moved to the small Idaho town to live with relatives after getting in trouble.
“This young man should have been protected,” E. Lee Schlender, co-counsel for the victim’s family, told KTVB.
The suit alleges “The victim was taunted and called racist names by other members of the team which names included ‘Kool-Aid,’ ‘chicken eater,’ ‘watermelon,’ and [the N-word].”
The lawsuit follows an investigation that resulted in the state attorney general’s office filing sexual assault charges against the three accused in March.
Howard and 17-year-old Tanner Ward have been charged as adults and could face life in prison.
The third accused is 16 and could not be identified.
The civil suit goes on to allege that the victim was forced to sing “Notorious KKK,” a violent and racist rap song set to Notorious B.I.G.’s “Can’t You See.”
“This is not Idaho. This is not our culture, this is not our people,” Schlender said. “For something like this to happen – it’s an absolute aberration.”
Other alleged abuses described in the lawsuit included coaches encouraging other players to beat the victim until he was unconscious, painful wedgies, and having a racist picture of a school bus drawn on a chalkboard showing the victim sitting in the back.