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Cedar Creek School responds to sexual battery lawsuit

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:11 PM CDT
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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Cedar Creek School in Ruston, Louisiana, has responded to a lawsuit that alleges multiple acts of bullying and sexual battery took place at the school.

According to the lawsuit, a child referred to as “Paul” was sexually battered by other students on multiple occasions in 2020 and 2021. A copy of the lawsuit has been circulated online.

On Sept. 20, 2021, Cedar Creek School posted the following response to the lawsuit on their Facebook page. A Facebook post embedded below includes a picture the school says shows the object the lawsuit alleges was involved in some of the acts. You can read the response in full below. It is italicized.

--Cedar Creek’s statement is below this line.--

CEDAR CREEK STATEMENT ON LITIGATION

9-20-2021

The lawsuit that was filed against Cedar Creek raises many questions that need to be asked of the lawyer who filed it. But let us be clear – the facts and evidence, if there is any evidence, will not support the allegations.

We acknowledge the serious nature of these allegations, and express our sympathy to the Conroy family. We also acknowledge the fact that the Plaintiff was bullied at our school. That should never have happened.

There are four major issues here:

1. When was the school aware of this situation and what was done?

2. Was the Plaintiff penetrated “in excess of 25 times” by a foreign object that is larger around than a soda can?

3. Was Plaintiff involved in planning Hell Day with several of his friends?

4. Is there a video showing a sexual battery of the Plaintiff?

These are the facts as we know them:

1. As soon as the school administration was made aware on May 13 that bullying was occurring, we took immediate action. An internal investigation commenced, the Conroys were notified, and we then launched an independent investigation using a retired 20-year Ruston Police veteran, trained in juvenile investigations, who was given total freedom to follow the issues wherever the facts led.

As a result of that investigation, and based on school policy, five students were expelled from Cedar Creek. Bullying, harassment, intimidation, stalking, and similar actions have no place in our school community and will not be tolerated.

2. There is no evidence of any kind that the Plaintiff’s anal cavity or rectum was ever penetrated. The Eiffel Tower object that is in a video and is alleged to have been inserted into Plaintiff’s rectum is made of stiff, rough wire and is 3-inches square, which is significantly larger than a soda can. See pictures at end.

If that hard, rough metal tower with four sharp corners was forced into a body cavity and then withdrawn even once, severe physical damage requiring medical attention would have immediately occurred. To our knowledge, at no time did the Plaintiff seek medical attention or tell his parents or anyone else that he had been penetrated by this object.

In the detailed, written account of alleged events provided by the Plaintiff’s parents to Cedar Creek, no allegation whatsoever is made regarding anal penetration.

3. During the detailed independent investigation that was conducted by the retired Ruston police officer, it was determined that Hell Day was an event that was planned by the Plaintiff and several of his friends as part of an effort to replicate in some manner the training that Navy Seals go through. Each student, including the Plaintiff, agreed to have their own Hell Day, and Plaintiff happened to be first.

Before Plaintiff’s scheduled Hell Day, May 13, one or more other students became aware of the scheduled event and posted a notice on social media to be sure to bully Plaintiff that day. Early on May 13, the scheduled Hell Day for Plaintiff, a Cedar Creek teacher witnessed Plaintiff being bullied and immediately intervened, protected Plaintiff, and reported the incident to school administration. This was the first notification the school had of Hell Day. An internal investigation was started immediately by Cedar Creek administration and the Conroys were notified by the school.

4. There is no video showing a sexual assault or battery. The video that has been cited, linked below, was produced by Cedar Creek students as part of a French class exchange program assignment designed to show students in France about various activities at Cedar Creek. The students were required to use the French language in the video to demonstrate proficiency.

The full-length video, available here https://youtu.be/-OZ0Jf2hA6c with faces blurred and no audio to protect minors, contains a short section of some unidentifiable students poking an Eiffel Tower statue at a student in the ribs. The video does not show a sexual battery or child pornography, as alleged in the lawsuit.

Therefore, we believe the Dallas lawyer who filed this lawsuit, J.W. Bearden, should be asked to answer and document the following questions:

1. What proof or evidence is there of these alleged sexual assaults and penetration? Physical evidence? Video? Pictures? Medical records? Witness corroboration?

2. Did the Plaintiff seek medical attention for physical injuries as a result of the alleged sexual assaults at any time? If yes, what were the results?

3. While he was a student, why did the Plaintiff never tell his parents or school administrators about the allegations made in the lawsuit?

4. Why are these alleged penetrations not mentioned in the list of allegations the Conroys provided to Cedar Creek on May 14th?

In the interim, in order to not inflict unjustified damage on the minors involved, we ask everyone to stop spreading rumors, stop making baseless accusations, stop jumping to unfounded conclusions, stop posting items on social media that involve minors, and stop calling for actions that are unjustified and potentially damaging to other human beings, including minors.

The Cedar Creek Board of Directors

--Cedar Creek’s statement is above this line.--

Here is the post that was made to their Facebook page. It was posted on Sept. 20, 2021, around noon.

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