MACOMB — Two former Macomb High School students filed a $10 million lawsuit Friday in federal court that alleges the school district failed to protect them from another student who was a sexual predator.
Named as defendants in the suit are Macomb School District 185, the School Board, Macomb Senior High School Principal John Rumley and Assistant Principal Ed Fulkerson. The suit seeks a jury trial and compensation of $10 million. The case was filed in federal court because the school receives federal funding.
The plaintiffs are identified as Jane Doe and Jane Roe because one of them is still a minor, and the other was a minor at the time of the events alleged in the suit. The minor girl’s mother is identified anonymously as Julie Roe.
The suit alleges a teenage boy who also attended the school had sexually assaulted the two teen girls. The girls' attorney, Jeff Green, said the boy was a student at the school from 2014-2017 and was a “known repeat sexual predator.” He is identified in the suit as MP, which are not his true initials.
Jane Doe and her mother eventually moved away from the area. Doe finished high school at the other location and is now an adult. Roe stopped attending MHS on the grounds that the administration was not keeping her safe and honoring a civil protective order of no contact she had filed against the boy, MP. Roe began attending a local alternative school.
“The school district has received a copy of the complaint but has not yet been formally served,” Superintendent Dr. Patrick Twomey said Monday. “We are reviewing the allegations and do not have any comment at this time.”
The suit claims that in early 2014, MP had begun sexually harassing Doe, slapping her buttocks, grabbing her breasts and following her around the school. Green claims Rumley and Fulkerson ignored Doe and her mother’s four separate reports of the continued harassment. Green claims Rumley told Doe, “Guys are going to do what guys are going to do.”
The next step in MP’s actions, according to Green, included isolating Doe in the band room and digitally penetrating her against her will. The resulting civil protection order by Doe against MP was not complied with by the administration, according to Green.
“Fulkerson … told Jane Doe’s mother the situation was Jane’s fault and he would not disrupt his school for ‘girls that accuse people of things,’” Green stated in his filing. Green said MP sexually harassed Doe about 20 times. Eventually Doe and her mother moved out of the district.
The suit alleges that in the fall of 2016, MP, then a 17-year-old senior at the school, sexually battered Jane Roe. Green said MP committed the same act of assault on Roe as he did to Doe, this time in the school’s auto shop.
At a Nov. 1, 2016, no-contact-order hearing, Green said Rumley testified on MP’s behalf. On Nov. 29, 2016, the McDonough County State’s Attorney’s Office filed juvenile criminal sexual abuse charges against MP for assaults against Roe. During summer 2017, MP agreed to serve time in a juvenile detention facility and issue a letter of apology to Jane Roe in return for dismissal of the criminal case. Green asserts the agreement was entered into so MP could join the military after graduation. Green further asserts MP was discharged from the military after one week because of “misconduct.”