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Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Mother of boy assaulted at Clearwater school sues Pinellas school district


Published:

CLEARWATER — The mother of a boy assaulted this year in a bathroom at the Calvin A. Hunsinger school for the mentally and emotionally disabled filed a lawsuit Monday against the Pinellas County school district.

The Pinellas Park woman is seeking more than $15,000 in damages following the Feb. 8 incident at the Clearwater school, located at 1863 N. Betty Lane.

In her lawsuit, filed in Pinellas Circuit Court, the woman, whose name is not being published to protect her son’s identity, said a boy “significantly older” than her son lured him into a bathroom and “committed an assault and battery and/or a sexual assault and battery upon” him.

Her son, described by authorities as mentally disabled, “lacked the capacity to consent to such behavior,” the lawsuit says.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett confirmed the accused assailant was placed in a pretrial diversion program in Hillsborough County, where he recently assaulted another child.

In her lawsuit, the mother of the Calvin A. Hunsinger victim claimed the school failed to keep elementary, middle-school, and high-school age children separate, as it is supposed to. She also said the school failed to adequately monitor the hallways and to warn parents of children the school knows to be dangerous.

Pinellas County Schools spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the school district does not discuss pending litigation.

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