A federal lawsuit filed in Grand Rapids, Michigan claims that a Grandville kindergarten student was sodomized by fellow classmates. Some portions of the assaults were allegedly recorded and shared, and the boy was forced to “cover himself with mulch’’ to avoid the assaults.
The alarming allegations come from a 23-page lawsuit filed by the parents of the boy, identified in court records as Jimmy Doe, who at only 5-years old allegedly suffered through multiple attacks while attending Century Park Learning Center.
WZZM reports: The lawsuit claims the abuse started in the fall of 2014 and continued until April, 2015. It says four boys took Jimmy Doe to the mudroom area of the classroom where they touched and sodomized him and took photos of his genitals using classroom iPads. It occurred when kindergarten teacher Hillary Huberts attended the classroom’s ‘free time,’ the suit claims.
“The four boys directed Jimmy as to what and how he was to pose and for how long while the boys used classroom iPads to take photographs,’’ the suit claims.
Images were continuously deleted to create space for additional photographs “each time they attacked Jimmy,’’ the lawsuit claims.
Dissemination of the photos to other students led to continued harassment, forcing the boy to dig hiding places beneath playground equipment where he would “cover himself with mulch,’’ the lawsuit claims.
According to the report, the child’s parents noted: “both a physical and emotional deterioration in their son.” They reportedly brought it up during a parent-teacher conference and when the boy’s mother asked for a police investigation, she was told by the school principal, Tonia Shoup, that an investigation had already found “no indication of coercion or assault.’’
The lawsuit claims that Shoup said the four boys involved told her it had been Jimmy’s idea to display his genitals, and that he had admitted to showing his “privates” for pictures.
Grandville school representatives reportedly told the parents that the pictures had been deleted “and they could move Jimmy to another school district if they wanted,’’ according to the lawsuit.
The WZZM report continues: School officials did not protect the boy and turned a blind eye to the abuse once it was brought to light, parents of the boy, identified in court records as Jimmy Doe, claim.
“The assailants told Jimmy that if he did not cooperate with them, or if he told about the touching and pictures, they would not be his friends and they would say the sexual activity was Jimmy’s idea,’’ the lawsuit claims.
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