WARNING: This story contains graphic sexual descriptions and explicit language
A lawsuit filed last week claims that Brentwood Academy mishandled the rape and sexual assault of a sixth-grade boy by other students.
Filed Friday in Williamson County Circuit Court by the boy and his mother, the suit claims that during the 2014-2015 school year, the boy, 12-years-old at the time, was a victim of a series of sexual assaults and rapes in the Brentwood Academy 6th through 8th grade locker room and other places by four other boys in 6th through 8th grade. The four boys are named B.B., C.D., C.M. and R.G in the suit. R.G., the suit states, has now reached the ” age of majority.”
The suit, which asks for $30 million in judgement, alleges that Brentwood Academy officials did not properly supervise the locker rooms during gym class and that, when the behavior came to their attention, they mishandled it and tried to prevent it from being reported. The original complaint asks for $15 million compensatory and $15 million punitive per plaintiff. However, the lawyer, Roland Mumford, clarified Thursday afternoon that he intends to seek $30 million– total. 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.
When asked for comment, Brentwood Academy provided the following statement:
“Our highest priority is the protection and safety of our students. We take any allegation involving our students very seriously. We responded immediately and fully cooperated with authorities when we became aware of concerns in 2015. It is our policy and obligation to maintain confidentiality in any legal matter. Out of respect for all parties involved, and based on the advice of our legal counsel, we are unable to discuss details at this time.”
According to the suit, Masters told the boy, when the incidents came to his attention, to “turn the other cheek” and “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.”
Four rapes, occurring in the aforementioned boys’ locker room are alleged to have happened in January and February of 2015. The suit describes scenes of one boy performing the rapes while others looked out preventing anyone from coming in our out, or held down the boy. R.G., the student who allegedly performed the actual act of rape and has now reached the age of 18, is said to have nicknamed his penis, forced anal and oral sex, said “eat it, eat it, eat it.” The suit alleges that there were other boys who witnessed the assaults in the locker room who were not part of them. One of the four boys would, the suit says, mockingly chant the boys’ name in the locker room before assaults, “in a drawn out tone and tenor searching for him and alerting the 6th through 8th grade students what was to occur.” There are allegations of sexual assaults and harassment by the four boys to the plaintiff also at after-football-game parties earlier in the year.
R.G. is alleged to have “boasted to the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) community and the basketball team that he “f—-d that boy up the ass and stuck a Gatorade bottle in him.”
The suit claims that “upon information and belief a number of students reported the incidents to their parents, one or more of whom reported it to” Brentwood Academy and Alexander.
When the victim’s private counselor at Daystar Counseling, Chris Roberts, a former BA employee, found out about the incidents he allegedly said “reporting this may not be the best thing to do . . . this isn’t how Christian institutions handle these things.”
The mother, who had taken her son to a pediatrician, said that the doctor would report the incidents to the Department of Children Services immediately if Roberts did not report immediately, as required by Tennessee mandatory reporting laws.
The suit says that Roberts or one of his associates at Daystar, a “Christian counseling ministry founded by a former Brentwood Academy employee,” against the wishes of the boy’s mother contacted Middle School Director Nancy Brasher, to try to mediate the situation instead of having it reported. On the same day that happened, Masters contacted the boy’s mother.
He told her “he had found in the past that similar reports of abuse ‘or when these things happen’ are usually worse than what the student initially reports.”
The suit claims that during the course of the 2014-15 year, before the incidents mentioned above, that the four students “perpetrated numerous acts of intimidation, harassment, assault and/or bullying upon other students” that the “board of trustees was on actual notice” of.
Masters, the suit states, told the boy’s parents in April that he considered this “boys being boys and he could not investigate each of those and run a school.”
In April, Brasher, who is also a Daystar board member, contacted the boy’s mother to tell her that she met with Masters and Alexander to discuss the rapes and assaults. Brasher “accused [the boy] of being at fault for not reporting it and that it could not be true because the four students had been removed from the locker room in January 2015.” The lawsuit said this means that “BA . . . was on actual notice of these incidents occurring” sometime after the first rape but before the fourth.
The mother, pushing for an internal investigation at BA in April, met with the headmaster. He said he interviewed some of them and the boys “admitted to him that some of the allegations were true.” However, Masters then said 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.”