VIENNA, Va. - A lawsuit from a northern Virginia student who said an older student sexually assaulted her during a 2017 out-of-town band trip has been reinstated by a federal appeals court, the Associated Press reports.
The lawsuit was filed in 2018. The female student, who was 16 years old at the time, said she was sexually assaulted by an older student in the Oakton High School band.
In the lawsuit, the victim, referred to as Jane Doe, alleges that in March 2017, during a band trip to Indianapolis, a fellow band member, a 17-year-old boy, forced the girl to "rub his" genitals, put his hand down her pants and touched her breasts on a dark bus.
The lawsuit says the girl was "frozen with fear, suffered in silence." According to the complaint, the girl did report the assault to friends, who then told staff on the trip. According to the lawsuit, those adults failed to react and support the student who got physically sick and suffered emotional trauma.
Once the student reported the assault upon returning to Virginia, the lawsuit alleges that Fairfax County Public Schools officials threatened the victim with punishment and discouraged her to report the assault to police.
The Associated Press reports that at a 2019 trial, a jury found that she had been assaulted. But the case was tossed out on a technicality and it was ruled that the school system had no "actual notice" of the assault.