Mom claims Moreno Valley school district tried to cover up special-needs student's alleged sexual assault

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A shocking lawsuit claims Moreno Valley Unified School District officials tried to cover up a 7-year-old special-needs student's alleged sexual assault.

According to the lawsuit filed in March, a special-needs third-grade student at Honey Hollow Elementary School was made to "feel shame, humiliation and remorse" for speaking out about her abuse.

The child's mother, Akiela Lundy, filed the lawsuit. She claims she found out about the alleged abuse when her daughter in February 2017 crawled into bed and said another third grader, a female classmate who also has special needs, had touched her private parts while at school that day.

Lundy said she called the parent of that student, who was very apologetic and agreed to help. The next day, Lundy reported it to school officials, including the principal, but the school tried to cover it up, the lawsuit claims.

She also alleges in the lawsuit that school officials told Lundy's daughter to keep quiet and made her sign a statement.

Lundy claims the school's solution was to separate the girls, but the classmate would bully her daughter at recess. According to the lawsuit, the abuse would continue until Lundy eventually took her daughter out of the school.

Lundy said she's furious that her daughter feels like telling the truth was the wrong thing to do.

"I felt, for lack of a better term, betrayed because I sent my daughter to school thinking that it was a safe environment," Lundy said.

In response to Eyewitness News' request for comment, the school district provided a statement: "The District takes any allegation of misconduct very seriously and strives to provide a safe environment for learning every day. The reported incident involves alleged inappropriate behavior between two students. Because we have a legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of that investigation as well as the due process and privacy rights of the students, we cannot comment on specific details related to this lawsuit."

Attorney Kevin Landau claims the school district is also guilty of negligence because according to the law, they are required to inform police or child protective services when such an incident happens. According to the lawsuit, the school district never did that.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.