Lawyers representing the Fairfax County School Board in Virginia are demanding an alleged sexual assault victim submit to invasive vaginal and anal exams for injuries she claimed to have suffered as a seventh grader at Rachel Carson Middle School over a decade ago.
The victim, identified only as B.R. in court documents, filed a lawsuit in 2019 accusing the school district of turning a blind eye after she was allegedly gang-raped multiple times between 2011 and 2012. She claimed to have experienced “internal derangement of her vagina, cervix, uterus, and anus.”
B.R., who is now 23, later filed an amended complaint after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond rejected the school board’s efforts to block her suit by objecting to her filing under a pseudonym.
The lawsuit details “multiple acts of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, including rape, that were directed against her over the course of several months.”
In her lawsuit, she indicates how her classmate started spreading a rumor in October 2011 that he’d engaged in sexual activity with her. As the story spread, other students began subjecting her to harassment and name calling.
She alleges that a boy at the school, identified in court documents by the pseudonym C.K., then began sexually assaulting her while threatening her to stay silent. In some cases, other students joined in sexually abusing her. One purported incident involved a group of boys forcing her into a closet and assaulting her while on school grounds.
The alleged victim, who has a parent hailing from India, also claims she faced instances of anti-Asian bullying.
She also accuses Sybil Terry, an assistant principal at the school, of once telling her and her parents that the accused, C.K., had already “been in enough trouble” due to a hard life. Terry even questioned why they would try to “ruin a young boy’s life.”
On March 5, 2012, a trained nurse completed a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) report concluding that the plaintiff had “suffered contusions inside her anus, thereby corroborating” her story.
Police detective Fred Chambers, who served as the resource officer at Rachel Carson, investigated the case of the alleged rape and determined that the sexual activity was “consensual.”
As school officials dismissed her allegations as consensual, the student, then aged 12, continued to plead with administrators and counselors for protection.
The girl’s mother then filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in 2012, prompting a two-year investigation.
The investigation resulted in the school system admitting to no wrongdoing but agreeing to improve its responses to sexual assault allegations via a voluntary resolution agreement.
Lawyers representing the school board lawyers cited Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in their filing, which permits “physical and mental exams.”
The defendants believe that “more than one Rule 35 exam will be necessary” as the alleged sustained injuries affected various bodily systems, including neurological, cardiac, pelvic, psychological injuries and unspecified “bodily injuries, permanent in nature.”
The joint discovery plan submitted by both parties argues that the exam is necessary since she “has put her mental and physical condition at issue.” The school district and former officials’ attorneys are further asking that the plaintiff be alone during the exam and not allowed any counsel or other individuals present.
The victim’s lawyers argued that the exams are no longer necessary since school district officials already had the young woman’s SANE exam results since 2020, in addition to a nine-hour neuropsychological test that she also completed.
A licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist who has been treating the victim also opposed the gynecological exams, stating in a separate filing that “as a victim of sexual trauma, invasive medical exams are highly likely to be triggering.”
The hearing for the defendant’s filing was scheduled on Wednesday in Alexandria.