Alleged rape victim filed suit against bus company

September 10, 2008 7:56:22 PM PDT
The family of a suburban high school student claims their daughter was raped after being kicked off a school bus and forced to walk home. The family is suing. They say the assault happened over the summer as the child walked to her home in south suburban Harvey.

Harvey police say they are involved in the investigation, looking for the suspects who allegedly raped the 15-year-old girl. She was on her way back from summer school at Thornton Township High School July 11 on the bus, when she says the bus driver forced her and everybody else who was on that bus to get off and walk home.

The intersection of 155th and Park Avenue in Harvey is about a mile from where the 15-year-old girl lives. But to get to her home, she had to walk through some high-crime neighborhoods.

The school bus driver allegedly forced the victim and at least a dozen other students off the bus because the female driver was upset about some kids playing with fireworks. The girl's attorney says the driver became responsible for what happened next.

According to a police report, three men kidnapped and raped her.

"It was performed in a way that was beyond negligence. The bus driver is always required to drop the person off from portal to portal. These students should have been taken all the way to the point where they were right near their homes," said attorney Jeff Deutschman.

According to police, the three suspects wore masks. They put the girl into a brown vehicle with no license plates and raped her repeatedly in the back seat. They then dropped her off about midnight near where they picked her up. Police will only say they're aggressively investigating the rape case. But so far, no one is in custody.

"My client certainly would have been traumatized to not remember very specific details. But due to the fact that they were masked, all she knows is (there were) three men," Deutschman said.

The lawsuit filed by the victim names the school bus driver, the school bus company, as well as the school district.

The Kickert School Bus Company released a statement Wednesday night, saying,"We are taking this matter very seriously. All of the facts have yet to be determined. We have not had an opportunity to see or review the civil complaint, police reports or medical records."

The bus company said its own preliminary investigation revealed that a number of students got off the bus because they were lighting fireworks and throwing them at passing vehicles. They had no information on what happened after that point, they said.


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