An elite Christian school is under fire after allegedly refusing to report the rape of a male student and downplaying the repeated sexual assaults against him as just "boys being boys."
The Brentwood Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, is being sued $30 million by the victim's mother for allowing a sixth-grade student to be raped multiple times by four eighth-grade bullies back in 2015, The Tennessean reported.
According to the lawsuit filed in early August, four male students “conspired to engage in male on male sexual harassment, sexual assault and/or rape upon John Doe in the locker room not supervised by an adult. [The boy] would place his penis before John Doe and forcibly penetrated it into the mouth of Plaintiff John Doe without consenting claiming ‘eat it, eat it, eat it, open your mouth, accept it.'”
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That same student also allegedly bragged that he “f—ed that boy up the ass and stuck a Gatorade bottle in him.”
The rape victim was allegedly told by Brentwood Academy Headmaster Curtis G. Masters to "to turn the other cheek" and that "everything in God's kingdom happens for a reason," according to the lawsuit.
Masters reportedly told the victim's mother in April 2015 that he considered the claims to be “boys being boys and he could not investigate each of those and run a school."
The suit says the boy's mother wanted to report the assault to law enforcement upon learning of the incident before she was reportedly advised not to by a former Brentwood employee, Chris Roberts.
Roberts, who was also Doe's counselor at Daystar Counseling, allegedly responded to the mother, “Reporting this may not be the best thing to do. This isn’t how Christian institutions handle these things.”
The victim's mother filed a civil suit against the institution later on Aug.4. And six days after that Brentwood issued a statement regarding John Doe, disputing the lawsuit’s allegations as “completely untrue.”
Much has been false reported in the media, citing allegations that are completely untrue. At no point before or during the investigation in 2015 did I (or anyone on our staff to my knowledge) hear any allegation of rape. When we heard of inappropriate activity, we responded immediately and thoroughly, cooperated fully with the authorities, and took appropriate disciplinary action based on what we knew. Certain allegations in the lawsuit and highlighted in the media are not factual, will be disputed, and our defense will be vigorous. Certain statements attributed to me are simply not true. Because of our policy not discussing details of a lawsuit, I cannot elaborate on additional details.
In addition to Masters, several other school officials were named as individual defendants in the suit, including Nancy Brasher, the middle school director, Buddy Alexander, the administrator and middle school athletic director, Lyle Husband, the assistant basketball coach, and Mike Vazquez, Masters' son-in-law and the school's sixth-grade basketball coach.
“Our highest priority is the safety and protection of our students. We take any allegation involving our students very seriously,” Masters said in a statement to The Tennessean.
“We responded immediately and fully cooperated with authorities when we became aware of concerns in 2015.”