Guilty until proven innocent: Teen girls made boy’s life ‘unbearable’ with false assault allegations
A Pennsylvania school district is facing a lawsuit taken by the family of a former student after he was charged with sexual assault and forced out of the school when a group of girls made false allegations against him.
The male student, named only as ‘T.F.’ in the lawsuit, eventually left Seneca Valley High School in Pittsburgh to be homeschooled after extensive bullying which made his life “unbearable.”
Three of the accusers, dubbed “mean girls” in the suit, eventually admitted that they had made up the stories of sexual assault, with one of the students saying on tape that she just did not like the male student. She also apparently told other students she “would do anything to get him expelled,” the Toronto Sun reported.
One girl, named as ‘K.S.’ in the suit, told other students that T.F. had assaulted her at a pool. The conversation was overheard by a school counselor and it was reported to Childline, which is required by law. T.F. was then charged with indecent assault and harassment and received six months probation as part of a plea deal in which he did not admit to the allegations.
Roughly five months later, another girl, named as ‘C.S.’ in the suit, falsely accused T.F. of assault. After inviting him to “hang out” at her home, she claimed to the guidance counselor that he had broken into her house and sexually assaulted her. The male student was then charged with assault and criminal trespassing — and the lawsuit claims that K.S. and C.S. discussed the false statement that would be made to police about the incident.
Shortly after the second false allegation, the teenage boy was removed from class and “placed in leg and wrist shackles” by the local police and was transported to a juvenile detention facility.
A group of girls said a male classmate sexually assaulted them. He was escorted from school in shackles, charged with crimes, spent an entire summer indoors with an ankle monitor. Finally, the girls admitted they made it up because they didn't like him. https://t.co/nJxwElF4pb— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) October 17, 2018
The boy was later released on house arrest and forced to wear an ankle monitor. He was not permitted to have any visitors or phone or internet access in the house and was not allowed to leave except to attend church and the therapy which he required to deal with the “psychological trauma” he suffered. On one occasion, while T.F. was still attending school, another male student stuck a piece of masking tape on his back with the word “predator” written on it, the lawsuit claims.
Eventually, the truth came out after other students revealed Snapchat messages which contradicted the girls’ stories and all charges were dropped. Despite concocting the conspiracy against the boy, however, the girls reportedly have not suffered any consequences, the lawsuit claims.
Please take the time to read this. People can be wrongfully accused. It can happen. This is why the presumption of innocence matters. https://t.co/Stiddy9jhD— Jedediah Bila (@JedediahBila) October 17, 2018
The boy’s attorney told PennLive that T.F. was “basically being tortured in school by the other students and investigators, but the administration was only focused on protecting the girls who were lying.” He added: “Once the allegations were proven false, they really didn't care one bit about T.F. and there has been absolutely no repercussions against the girls.”
The boy’s parents, Michael J. and Alecia Flood, are now also pursuing legal actions against the parents of the girls. The school is not backing down. A school district spokesperson released a statement saying that the school “followed all applicable laws” and that it will “vigorously defend” itself.
A student-run Twitter account, however, appears to be supporting the Flood family, tweeting a link to a media report on the case with the hashtag #WeStand4Flood. Another Twitter account posted screenshots of comments allegedly written by students at the school, one of which said that the school administration was “suppressing any discussion in support of” the boy.
Reading this story makes me sick to my stomach..this Friday we will show our support for the Entire Flood Family by putting #WeStand4Flood on the back of our Blue Out Shirts to support this amazing family!! #WeStand4Floodhttps://t.co/qxych9ZUsn— SV Student Section (@SvStudntSection) October 4, 2018
Here’s what students are saying about the admins response pic.twitter.com/y4n5m7CyrO— BRAZIL/FLIP beauty (@elexusirene) October 9, 2018
A disgrace that one of the nicest kids, and sincere families in Seneca has to deal with this. Actions like this damage true victims of sexual assault claims, and will make a district attorney double think before bringing charges against a true abuser. #WeStand4Floodhttps://t.co/Wx2sSoY6PE— Ryan Senka (@senka33) October 4, 2018
School Board President Jim Nickel said there was “quite a bit of misinformation and misperception” about the case and that “just because something is contained in a lawsuit complaint does not mean that it's fact.”