CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A bus driver for Kanawha County Schools didn't report alleged sexual assaults last year on her bus, a lawsuit filed last week claims.
Over the course of two days in August last year, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted during her bus ride to school. The bus driver never reported the incident, the lawsuit filed in Kanawha Circuit Court states.
"Instead, another bus driver who heard about the incidents took the video to a school administrator," the complaint states.
The bus driver is identified in the lawsuit only as "Karen." Attorneys for the girl don't know her last name, according to the suit. She was responsible for taking students to and from Elkview Middle School and Herbert Hoover High School.
The girl is suing the bus driver, the Kanawha County Board of Education and its insurance company and Matthew Cavalier, an 18-year-old student charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse because of the alleged incident.
Two other boys, ages 12 and 16, pleaded guilty to lesser offenses stemming from the bus incident, the lawsuit states.
One boy took his pants off, another boy lay on top of the girl, and the third boy pushed the girl's head down near his genitalia, the complaint states.
"In videotape obtained from the bus, the three boys are clearly shown assaulting [the girl]. In addition to generally groping her, the boys are shown committing other acts of sexual assault," the complaint states.
The video also shows "utter pandemonium" on the bus, with children running up and down the aisles while it was in transit, according to the lawsuit.
"These assaults took place just a few seats behind" the bus driver, according to the lawsuit. Her "lack of attention to and control over the behavior of the children on the bus and her deliberate indifference to the safety and welfare of the students resulted in her failure to stop the assaults the first day, let alone prevent them from occurring on the second day."
The parties attempted to resolve the matter, but a mediation was unsuccessful, the complaint states.
Jim Withrow, attorney for the Kanawha County Board of Education, wasn't immediately available for comment Friday.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.