Parents, students demand accountability following teen's alleged rape at New Rochelle High School
Dozens of parents and students in New Rochelle protested Saturday after hearing a local teenager was allegedly raped at the high school.
The family is suing the City of New Rochelle and the school district over the incident that allegedly happened at the high school in January of last year.
According to the lawsuit, the family says their 14-year-old daughter was pulled into a stairwell at the high school, choked and violently raped by a male classmate. The incident was caught on surveillance video and is now at the heart of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit states the ninth-grade victim repeatedly told the boy no while a security guard stood nearby the whole time.
The document says her attacker had been bullying her since the seventh grade, but school officials ignored the warnings. The student also claims they failed to supervise the male classmate.
The lawsuit argues the school did not adequately maintain safe and secure common areas, which therefore directly contributed to her rape.
"They said this 14-year-old girl, it's her fault, even though the boy had a history. They knew!" said Lily Benedict, a New Rochelle High School junior who was one of the students who demonstrated.
The district's lawyers wrote in legal documents, "There was no negligence, fault, or culpable conduct on the part of the defendant, City School District of New Rochelle, causing the damages alleged in the complaint."
News 12 reached out to the school district for comment, and they said, "As with all pending litigation, we're unable to provide any further specific comment upon the complaint at this time."
The parents and students said they want the school to be held accountable.
"Instead of spending money on lawyers defending ourselves from our mistakes, perhaps we can put it into training security guards," said Kim Benedict, the mother of a New Rochelle High School junior.
"I definitely think that he should be expelled for assaulting student and probably go to some juvenile detention because that's what happens in the real world - you go to jail for raping someone." said freshman student Iyla Blough.