A former student of Nashville, Tennessee’s, Brentwood Academy says he was raped by four other students on multiple occasions, most incidents occurring on school property. The child was 11-years-old at the time.
According to a report by WJLA, the boy and his mother have filed a lawsuit against the school’s headmaster and other employees, seeking in excess of $30 million.
Named in the suit are:
- Brentwood Academy Inc.
- Brentwood Academy,
- Headmaster Curtis G. Masters
- Daystar Counseling board member Nancy Brasher
- Buddy Alexander
- Lyle Husband
- Mike Vazquez
The lawsuit includes graphic details, which may be disturbing to read. According to the report:
“The boy (named as John Doe) was first sexually assaulted by 14- and 15-year-old boys at the school at a party after a football game during the 2014-2015 school year. The boys allegedly placed their buttocks on the boy’s face and ‘their scrotums on and/or in his mouth.’
“The following January and February of 2015, the suit claims the assaults continued in a school locker room not supervised by an adult.”
The lawsuit alleges that on four separate dates, John Doe was assaulted while one of his tormentors held the door to the middle school locker room closed, preventing anyone from entering or exiting.
Another boy allegedly held John Doe down “in an execution posture.” Then, according to the lawsuit, “R.G.,” the third boy of the four male students, forcibly penetrated the boy’s mouth and buttocks.
The lawsuit says the same group of four boys routinely bullied other students at the school. R.G. is alleged to have performed various degrading acts on other students, such as urinating on a student’s shoe, defecating in another student’s shoe, and duct-taping a third student to a pole.
After these attacks, R.G. seemingly escalated and eventually began raping John Doe. He even bragged about the rapes to an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team.
The lawsuit says the school knew about the incidents because several parents allegedly told John Doe’s mother, (listed as Jane Doe) that their children had been involved in similar harassing incidents.
“Jane Doe says she informed a counselor at Daystar Counseling, who is also a former BA employee about the alleged rape. Jane Doe claims the counselor responded to her claims ‘reporting this may not be the best thing to do…this isn’t how Christian institutions handle these things.'”
Jane Doe reportedly took her son to a pediatrician, who refused to report the rape to the Department of Children Services (DCS) because Daystar Counseling had previously declined the action. Returning to Daystar Counseling, the Doe’s were able to report the rape to the DCS, the counselor present as the report was being made.
Then, despite Jane Doe’s request otherwise, the counselor reported the incident to Brentwood Academy in order to save a relationship the counselor had with the school. Apparently, the counselor was concerned about keeping clients and referrals from the school
Brentwood Headmaster Curtis G. Masters contacted Jane Doe the same day, allegedly saying reports of similar abuses are usually worse than the student initially reported. Masters wanted to handle the situation directly with the mother of one of the boys, saying they had a long-standing relationship.
According to the report, throughout the process of reporting the incidents to the school and authorities, Jane Doe’s allegations were refuted, she was blamed for not reporting the incidents and allegations sooner, and she was told that the school could not investigate each allegation of abuse and still run a school.
According to WJLA, Masters said one of the boys accused of raping the victim confessed to some of the allegations. It reports:
“Masters informed the parents ‘two students had been separated from the Brentwood Academy community.’ Masters also said one of the accused boys had gotten a lawyer and he couldn’t do anything further.
“When the victim questioned Masters, the lawsuit says Headmaster Masters told the young alleged victim that he needs to ‘turn the other cheek’ and that ‘everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.’ Masters is also accused of telling the boy ‘we have talked about cameras in the locker room, but until then, you can change in my office.'”
A Brentwood Academy spokesperson provided the following statement:
“Our highest priority is the protection and safety of our students. We take any allegation involving our students very seriously. We responded immediately and fully cooperated with authorities when we became aware of concerns in 2015. It is our policy and obligation to maintain confidentiality in any legal matter. Out of respect for all parties involved, and based on the advice of our legal counsel, we are unable to discuss details at this time.”
The lawsuit includes 10 counts, alleging multiple breaches of contract and confidentiality, failure to report child abuse reports, emotional distress, negligence, negligent supervision and invasion of privacy.
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