BISD sued over girl's sexual assault while walking home

Kelly Holleran Apr. 14, 2009, 8:46am

The Beaumont Independent School District has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging a student was sexually assaulted while walking home after a bus driver forced her off the school bus.

Nichelle Challow filed suit on behalf of her daughter, identified only as M.R., against the school district on April 9 in Jefferson County District Court.

In the complaint, filed by Challow's attorney David W. Starnes of Beaumont, Challow states that a BISD bus driver drove M.R. from Silver Star Babies dance class at Smith Middle School to her neighborhood.

Although M.R. was normally dropped off in front of her house, on Sept. 9 the bus driver allegedly forced M.R. to walk the final four blocks to her home. During her walk, M.R. was attacked and sexually assaulted, according to court records.

Because of the attack, M.R. sustained severe personal injuries, emotional trauma and mental anguish and has incurred medical expenses, the complaint states.

Challow claims the bus driver should have known the area has a history of criminal activity, but failed to warn M.R. and failed to provide adequate safety measures for her. The driver also failed to properly supervise M.R. and intentionally forced M.R. to depart four blocks away from her usual departure, the complaint states.

Challow is seeking an unspecified judgment within the jurisdictional limits of the court, pre-judgment interest as allowed by law, costs and other relief to which she may be entitled.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson of the 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B183-758.

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