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Lawsuit Filed Over Alleged Sexual Assault On School Bus

Reported by: Send eMail Bethany Simmons
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Dec. 9, 2013 3:38 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 10, 2013 8:05 AM EST

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School Bus Sex
Eyewitness News Photo

Elkview , Kanawha County , West Virginia

A civil lawsuit has been filed after a student was allegedly sexually assaulted on a Kanawha County school bus earlier this year.

The incidents happened between Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 to or from Elkview Middle School when a 13-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted, according to a lawsuit filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit is filed against the bus driver, referred to in the suit as Karen Doe, Matthew Cavalier, 18, the Kanawha County Board of Education and the National Union Fire Insurance Co.of Pittsburgh, which provides insurance coverage for the board. The victim in the lawsuit suit is referred to as Jane Doe.

The lawsuit states Karen Doe was driving the bus when Jane Does was the victim of several sexual assaults and batteries committed by three different boys, ages 12 to 18.

Cavalier and a 16-year-old were charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Cavalier is on home confinement and awaits trial. Meanwhile, the 16-year-old and 12-year-old have already pleaded guilty to lesser offenses.

The lawsuit said videotape from the bus shows the three boys assaulting the victim. One boy reportedly took off his pants, another boy laid on top of the victim and a third pushed the victim's head toward his genitalia, according to the lawsuit.

The acts took place a few seats behind Karen Doe, who never stopped the assaults, the lawsuit claims. The lawsuit states that Karen Doe "utterly failed in her duty to preserve control over the children riding her bus, and ensure their safety while she drove them to school."

In addition to the assaults, the lawsuit said, the videotape also showed "utter pandemonium" on the bus.

"Children were running up and down the aisles of the bus while it was in transit," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also stated that Karen Doe's "failure to maintain control and provide adequate supervision on the bus created the situation that allowed the boys to assault the plaintiff."

The civil suit added that "Karen Doe's lack of attention to and control over the behavior of the children on the bus and her deliberate indifference to the safety and welfare of the students resulted in her failure to stop the assaults the first day, let alone prevent them from occurring on the second day."

Karen Doe reportedly did not report the sex crimes against the minor, which is a mandatory part of her job, the lawsuit said.

The civil suit was filed on Nov. 26.



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