A former student at Riverside Military Academy has filed a lawsuit against the Gainesville school, claiming leaders failed to protect the teen against hazing and sexual assault.
The cadet, only identified in the lawsuit as “L.A.,” was allegedly hazed, physically abused and raped while he was 12 and 13 years old at Riverside, according to a copy of the suit shared with AJC.com.
The school, the lawsuit alleges, failed to protect the boy from the abuse, report the claims to authorities, or discipline the alleged perpetrators during the 2012-13 school year.
“At times the beatings and physical abuse was inflicted upon L.A. in the presence of Riverside defendants who failed to take strong, and specific action to report and stop the abuse,” the lawsuit states.
Riverside, as well as several current and former officials, are named as defendants.
A spokeswoman for Riverside, an all-boys military college prep academy located in Gainesville, declined to comment on the suit since she said they do not know the details.
“The safety and well-being of our cadets is and has always been our priority,” the spokeswoman, Christian Mims, said in a statement.
The negligence and reckless misconduct lawsuit states that older cadets abused the teen by hitting him, slamming his head into a wall, throwing things at him and raping him.
The victim’s mother informed the school about the abuse through emails, the suit states. At one point, an official allegedly told the mother that “boys will be boys.”
The 15-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, asks for $100,000 in damages.
The school has over 500 cadets in grades 7-12 from 25 states. The victim in the lawsuit, who is now 18, is from Chicago.