Parents of Sexually Assaulted Student-Athlete Sue School, Coaches
A recent story from Bring Me The News highlighted the lawsuit brought to the former head football coach Derek Parendo and since-retired superintendent John Engelking.Below is an excerpt from the Bring Me The News article.
The lawsuit makes several allegations relating to the September 2021 incident that roiled the Northland city, leading to the premature end of the team;’s football season, Parendo’s resignation, and a guilty plea from the teen who sexually assaulted his younger teammate with a toilet plunger.
The lawsuit claims that the incident happened without the supervision of the coaches, and that the plunger continued to be used without anyone intervening.
It also claims the defendants were aware of the use of the plunger in hazing incidents prior to the assault, and alleges coaching staff didn’t better enforce rules on hazing and bullying, and the district as a whole didn’t do enough to protect the victim.
“All defendants have condoned student on student sexual and physical harassment and assault in the past by downplaying the acts, failing to ensure the toilet plunger was removed, failing to educate staff and student-athletes regarding the dangers of hazing and bullying, and by violating its own policies, procedures and/or state law or federal law,” the lawsuit states.
The family of the victim is seeking around $75,000 in damages.
According to the complaint, the victim has suffered from anxiety, depression, embarrassment, humiliation, intimidation, fear of retaliation and breach of trust.
The teenager who pleaded guilty will have to register as a predatory offender for the next decade. According to court documents, the case will remain in juvenile court. However, the teenager will serve an additional adult sentence if he violates court orders.
The teen was charged in January with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Bring Me The News does not name juveniles charged with crimes if they are being tried in juvenile court. He was sentenced to supervised probation.
The teen was charged after a monthslong review of the incident, which was launched in late September after misconduct allegations were made against players on the varsity football team.
To read the full story from Bring Me The News, click here.