The parents of a Pennsylvania high school boy targeted with false accusations of sexual assault have filed a lawsuit against the “mean girls” behind the attack as his classmates stand to support him.
Michael J. and Alicia Flood launched a lawsuit against a group of five high school girls at Seneca Valley High School in Pittsburgh who twice “conspired” against their son, identified as T.F., with false accusations of sexual assault which they later confessed they had made up, according to Trib Live.
The 26-page federal lawsuit alleges that the students, dubbed the “mean girls” by the Floods – referring to the 2004 film about a high school clique starring Lindsay Lohan – “conspired in person and via electronic communication devices to falsely accuse T.F. of sexual assault on two occasions.”
T.F. “was forced to endure multiple court appearances, detention in a juvenile facility, detention at home, the loss of his liberty, and other damages until several of the girls reluctantly admitted that their accusations were false,” according to the lawsuit.
The Butler County parents are suing the girls’ parents, the school district and Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger’s office for unspecified civil damages.
According to Trib Live:
The lawsuit contends T.F. was bullied on multiple occasions by classmates. In one example, the lawsuit said students last year placed masking tape with the word “PREDATOR” written on it on his back without his knowledge during choir practice.
The lawsuit alleges the boy was further damaged from “gender bias” by school officials and Goldinger’s office, which even after learning the girls’ accusations were false “did not take any action against the females involved,” said attorney Craig Fishman of Pittsburgh, who represents the Floods.
The teenager, who is being home-schooled, “was basically being tortured in school by the other students and investigators, but the administration was only focused on protecting the girls who were lying,” Fishman said. “Once the allegations were proven false, they really didn’t care one bit about T.F. and there has been absolutely no repercussions against the girls.”
The first girl, who accused the boy of assaulting her in July 2017 at a local swimming pool where he was a lifeguard, later admitted she made up the allegations, saying “I just don’t like him.”
“I just don’t like to hear him talk. … I don’t like to look at him,” she allegedly said in a recorded interview with school officials which was obtained by Fishman.
“T.F. was fired at the pool,” Fishman said.
He was charged with indecent assault and two counts of harassment, to which he pleaded not guilty, after the girl identified as K.S. allegedly told her classmates in October 2017 “that she would do anything to get T.F. expelled … and accused T.F. of sexual assault” with school officials.
He was placed on probation and suffered through relentless bullying at school, with one instance of having the word “PREDATOR” taped on his back by another student without his knowledge.
In March, another girl, identified as C.S., told a school official that he sexually assaulted her at her home as two other girls backed up her claim.
“On April 10, T.F. was removed from class at Seneca Valley High School and placed in leg and wrist shackles by the Jackson Township Police with the assistance of Juvenile Probation Officer Michael Trego,” the lawsuit said.
The teen spent nine days in a juvenile detention center and was then released on home-electronic monitoring.
“After 28 days, T.F. was only allowed out of his home to mow his lawn,” the lawsuit stated.
While the girls did eventually recant their allegations and admitted they had lied, the lawsuit states that school officials have repeatedly refused to take any disciplinary action against them or mark their academic record.
A campaign of support was launched for the Flood family at the school.
Reading this story makes me sick to my stomach..this Friday we will show our support for the Entire Flood Family by putting #WeStand4Flood on the back of our Blue Out Shirts to support this amazing family!! #WeStand4Flood https://t.co/qxych9ZUsn
— SV Student Section (@SvStudntSection) October 4, 2018
“The Butler County District Attorney’s office promised to file a petition to expunge the record of T.F. in September, but has not yet done so, providing further evidence of gender-based discrimination. The (district attorney) has refused to file criminal charges against K.S., Villegas, C.S., E.S. and H.R. due to gender-based discrimination,” the lawsuit stated.
Meanwhile, the boy falsely accused has suffered at the hands of the vindictive “mean girls.”
“T.F. has had psychological trauma because of all this. He’s had to see a psychologist to deal with the physical symptoms which are the direct result of being accused of something when he did not do anything wrong,” Fishman said.
The Seneca Valley School District responded to Trib Live with a statement.
“We feel strongly the lawsuit being filed against the Seneca Valley School District is without merit. We have followed all applicable laws, and we will vigorously defend ourselves throughout the process,” the statement partially read.
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