Lawsuit claims 6-year-old was sexually assaulted at school

Lawsuit claims 6-year-old was sexually assaulted at school

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The maternal grandmother of a former student at St. Alphonsus Catholic School has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi and St. Alphonsus Catholic School in Ocean Springs.

She alleges that her grandson was sexually assaulted by an older student.

According to the lawsuit, the incident occurred during an after school program back in May of 2011.

The lawsuit states a 12-year-old boy asked his mother - who was a supervisor of the school's after school program at the time - if he could take a 6-year-old boy to the bathroom. She allegedly agreed. The two children were reportedly on the playground prior to going to the bathroom.

Once in the bathroom, the 6-year-old boy claims the older boy forced him to perform sexual acts with the 12-year-old, which included tongue kissing.

The lawsuit alleges the bathroom incident lasted for an estimated 30 minutes up to two hours. One month later, the 6 year old told his parents about the alleged incident. His parents then contacted the school's principal.

Parents say the principal told them the 12-year-old had a history of aggression towards younger children. The principal also reportedly said that the old child's actions had raised so many red flags with the school's administration, the 12-year-old had to undergo psychological evaluation in order to stay at the school.

When the parents told the principal they were contacting police, she allegedly dissuaded them from doing so.

The lawsuit states the 6-year-old suffered severe psychological and emotional distress, including post traumatic stress disorder and ADHD. The document goes on to state the boy's distress also includes distrust of older males and older children, loss of enjoyment of life, hand wringing to the point of bleeding, performing things in patterns of eight, and ripping out his hair.

Attorneys Earl Denham and Jonathan Franco with Denham Law Firm are representing the plaintiff claiming gross negligence of the school and diocese and are asking for punitive damages.

WLOX News Now did reach out to the defendant's attorney late Friday afternoon, but was not able to get an immediate response.

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