The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has opened a new investigation into alleged rape and sexual abuse committed against a male student by other male students at Brentwood Academy.
DCS spokesman Rob Johnson told The Tennessee Star the new investigation was opened based on new information the department received late Wednesday. The department had investigated the case in April 2015, but Johnson could not provide more information because of confidentiality reasons.
The victim’s mother filed a $30 million lawsuit against the elite private Christian school in Williamson County on Aug. 4 in Williamson County Circuit Court. The mother is identified as Jane Doe and her son, the victim, is identified as John Doe. The defendants are Brentwood Academy and several administrators and faculty members.
According to the suit, John Doe was a sixth-grader at Brentwood Academy during the 2014-2015 school year when he was abused by four eighth-grade boys, who were 14 and 15 years old. On four separate dates in January and February 2015, “harassment, sexual assault, and rape were perpetrated in the locker room without adult supervision upon Plaintiff John Doe when he would only be in his shirt and underwear,” the suit says.
The suit alleges, among other things, that the school failed to maintain policies to deter bullying, failed to provide adult supervision the locker room, and failed to report the abuse to appropriate authorities.
In a press release issued Aug. 10, Curt Masters, headmaster at Brentwood Academy, said “At no point before or during the investigation in 2015 did I (or anyone on our staff to my knowledge) hear any allegation of rape. When we heard of inappropriate activity, we responded immediately and thoroughly, cooperated fully with the authorities, and took appropriate disciplinary action based on what we knew.”
Masters said the school does not tolerate any type of bullying, harassment or assault, and that faculty and staff are trained on mandatory reporting and complying with the law.
The Brentwood Police Department began an investigation in April 2015 after receiving a DCS referral and the investigation remains open, Assistant Police Chief Tommy Walsh told The Tennessee Star. No one at Brentwood Academy is being investigated, he said.
“The alleged incident is sensitive in nature and involves a juvenile victim and suspects,” Walsh said. “We are unable to comment on any specifics.”