Brentwood Academy and the other defendants in a lawsuit alleging mishandling of rapes and sexual assault at the school filed a response on Friday, Sept 8 denying all wrongdoing.
The school’s response, filed in Williamson County Circuit Civil Court, states that the claims of the lawsuit, which alleges the attempted cover up and mishandling of four rapes and extensive bullying of a 6th grader by four 8th graders in 2014-15, are “baseless” and the suit is “riddled with misrepresentation which appear to be designed to hurt the reputation of the school and its employees.”
Headmaster Curtis G. Masters, Middle School Director Nancy Brasher, middle school athletic director Buddy Alexander, assistant basketball coach Lyle Husband and sixth-grade basketball coach Mike Vazquez are all named as defendants in the suit, along with the school itself.
The BA filing states that the headmaster, Masters, got a call from a parent in April 2015 regarding “misconduct in the locker room.” However, Masters states in the filing, that Jane Doe, the mother of the alleged rape victim, whom he immediately called upon hearing about it, “did not report . . . that John Doe [her son] had been raped and further has never reported to BA that John Doe was the victim of rape.”
Rather, Masters stated that “Jane Doe expressed . . . that she was worried about how to approach the mother of [one of the students who performed the misconduct] because she had a friendship with this mother.”
The misconduct is not specified in the filing, and BA does not explicitly claim a rape did not occur only that rape was not reported.
The filing goes on to deny quotes attributed to him in the lawsuit.
The suit claimed that Jane Doe, pushing for an internal investigation at BA in April, met with the headmaster on April 20, 2015. It claimed that Masters said he interviewed some of the students in question and the boys “admitted to him that some of the allegations were true.” However, Masters then said, the suit charged, that “one of the four students had retained a lawyer and that they could not do anything.”
When questioning the victim, Masters, the suit states, said “John Doe [the boy] needs to turn the other cheek,” and “one of the students would be disciplined with in school suspension,” and “we have talked about cameras in the locker room, but until then, you can change in my offices.” He also allegedly said “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.”
However, whiles Masters “admits that he met” John Doe’s parents on April 20, he states that “the statements attributed to [him] are blatant falsehoods.”
Masters states that he had not interviewed students at that point because “of the potential for the school’s investigation to overlap with that of the Department of Children’s Services,” which it was previously reported did perform an investigation, “he had sought advice on how to approach these interviews.” DCS is currently undertaking a new investigation.
BA, the response filing states, started interviewing students on the same day as the meeting with John Doe’s parents, but “ceased its investigation when the Brentwood Police Department instructed it to do so” on April 22, 2015.
As previously reported, the BPD investigation into the case remains open more than two years later.
As a result of BA’s investigation, the lawsuit states, two students were “later withdrawn from the school.”
BA released a statement Saturday in concert with its filing of the response:
Yesterday, Brentwood Academy filed its Answer in the civil lawsuit recently brought against it and several employees. Brentwood Academy denies the allegations in the complaint. We will continue to defend ourselves vigorously against these accusations, and we will pursue all relief available to protect all parties involved in this case. We are committed to addressing any allegation of sexual harassment and bullying, and it’s important for you to know that at no time before or during our investigation into misconduct did anyone report that a rape occurred. In fact, no such accusation was ever made to us by the plaintiffs until this lawsuit seeking monetary damages was filed more than two years later.
The facts will show that Brentwood Academy took appropriate actions based on the information available to us. Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our students and campus community. We are heartbroken for everyone involved in this case.
A second suit was filed in late August, two weeks after the one against BA, against three of the alleged perpetrators and theirs parents. They have yet to respond legally.