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Father files suit against Galt elementary school district

He says officials failed to protect mentally challenged son from sexual assault

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Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:47 am, Sat Jan 28, 2012.

A parent is suing Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, contending officials failed to protect his mentally challenged son, whom he alleges was sexually assaulted by another juvenile while riding a special needs bus.

The 12-year-old boy said he was touched in sexual and offensive manners and forced to engage in other acts last February, but was unable to and did not consent to them because of his mental disability, according to public documents.

However, the alleged victim's father claims in court documents that the names of the suspect or suspects have been withheld by the school district and Galt Police.

Lt. Jim Uptegrove said the incident was investigated by police and forwarded to the District Attorney for possible charges. That office is not disclosing any information relating to the case, according to a DA spokeswoman.

Since both the alleged suspect and victim are minors, Uptegrove would not provide additional information.

It is unclear whether the suspect was a fellow student.

Superintendent Karen Schauer declined to comment on the case as it is in litigation.

The father names three district employees who were responsible for protecting his son but, he contends, did not. Their alleged failure resulted in the acts of assault and sexual battery, damages and injuries including those treated at a hospital.

The News-Sentinel is not naming the father to protect his son's identity.

The father filed a claim against the district last March, but it was rejected the following month, as is common. The lawsuit was filed in late October.

He is seeking an unspecified amount of emotional and physical damages for his son and attorney fees, according to court records.

His San Francisco attorney did not return phone calls.

The lawsuit was scheduled to be discussed by the school board and its legal counsel in closed session Wednesday.

Last year, a Lodi Unified School District bus driver was sentenced for molesting an 8-year-old special needs girl while riding the bus. Richard Dale Evans received 25 years for the acts that were caught on surveillance tape and ultimately confessed.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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