A former Indianapolis Public Schools teacher and other former IPS officials are facing a lawsuit filed by a former student whom the teacher admitted to having sexually abused when the student was 16, the Indianapolis Star reports.
According to the report, the lawsuit accuses school officials of knowing about former educator Corey Greenwood's predatory history but keeping him on staff and even eventually promoting him to a supervisory position.
Almost three years ago, Greenwood admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student. He was jailed briefly and subsequently received probation after pleading guilty to charges of child seduction and obstruction of justice. However, Greenwood's history of preying on students began almost a decade ago, the lawsuit claims.
The former IPS student whom Greenwood reportedly abused in 2012 is now suing the 44-year-old former educator and other former officials in federal court, saying that they violated Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination and harassment in schools that receive federal money, the Star notes.
"You have a school system where those with authority knew about the prior allegations and had the authority to take action but didn't do anything," one of the student's lawyers, Stephen Wagner, of Wagner Reese LLP told the site. "That is the standard for Title IX liability. … This is a classic case of that happening."
Had Greenwood been appropriately dealt with 10 years ago, he "wouldn't have had the opportunity to victimize anybody else," Wagner claims.
The complaint reportedly points out that school officials knew about Greenwood since at least 2004, when he was working at Manual High School, but did nothing, even after conducting an internal investigation. Greenwood was later moved to George Washington Community High School, where he was assistant principal, dean of students and athletics director. He met the victim, identified in court documents only as A.S., at that school, where the student was involved in many sports, including track and field, cross-country and swimming.
The lawsuit names Greenwood; the Board of School Commissioners of the city of Indianapolis; IPS; Linda Gagyi, former principal of Washington Community High School; and Jacqueline Greenwood, the former director of secondary education for IPS, and Greenwood's own mother, as defendants.
Another lawyer representing A.S., Eric Schmadeke, noted that Jacqueline Greenwood's position in the IPS district made him "untouchable."
The reported sexual abuse between Corey Greenwood and A.S. began in March 2012, when she was in 10th grade, and lasted two weeks. A.S. said that she knew it was wrong and confided in her best friend.
"I was scared," A.S. said. "I didn't know how to get myself out of that situation. I felt like I was in too deep already."
At least one IPS teacher, court documents say, conspired with Greenwood to cover up A.S.' allegations, persuading the then-16-year-old to lie and telling her that if she didn't, Greenwood would lose custody of his son.
"People want to think it's just about punishing the bad guy who made a bad decision, but it's not. If it's a car accident, trauma's on the outside. When it's sexual assault, trauma's on the inside," Schmadeke told the news site. "It's all the more to handle when you're a 16-year-old with very little support. She's going to have injuries. She does have injuries … and they're going to continue with her."
A.S., who is now in the U.S. military, said that the assault caused her to "act out sexually." A former 3.8 GPA student and a 21st Century Scholar with dreams of becoming an anesthesiologist, she ended up dropping out of Washington and going to another school. She eventually got pregnant and now has a 2-year-old daughter.
Now she is encouraging students who find themselves being victims to speak out. "If they even think anything is going to happen," she said, "they need to just tell someone, or tell someone of authority."
Read more at USA Today.