LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A lawsuit has been filed against Jeffco Public Schools for failing to protect a freshman who says she reported to school officials a 17-year-old raped her when she was just 12 years old. The victim's attorney says the school failed to investigate the claim and take action.
The victim and her mom asked Denver7 not to disclose their names.
The reported rape happened two years ago. The victim is now a freshman at Alameda International Jr./Sr. High School. She began to attend school when she was 12 years old. Under normal circumstances, she would have attended O'Connel Middle School, but she was moved to Alameda High School due to overcrowding. The school separated 7th and 8th graders from high school students.
The lawsuit claims a 17-year-old teen began roaming the halls and recruiting 12-year-old girls for sexual relationships using social media. The male teen forced himself on girls, according to the complaint.
"He started to flirt with me and kiss me during school and then after school, he followed me home and sexually assaulted me," the victim said. "I told him to stop and I didn't want to and I tried to leave, but he just held me."
She says the next day, she called her mom and reported the assault to a school counselor.
"She said that she would look into it, but she never did," the teen said.
"It's devastating, there are no words for it; I did everything in my power to protect my daughter - everything - and it was just taken away so fast," the victim's mom said.
The mom says she contacted the vice-principal, the school resource officer and anyone she could think of for help.
"The last two years were be torture because the administration at Alameda (High School) wouldn't help me, they ignored me, they didn't do anything to help my daughter and I felt so helpless," the mom said. "The entire process failed me, they failed me when we reported the sexual assault, they let my daughter get beat up in the bathroom and get bullied for reporting the rape," the victim's mom said.
The freshman says her predator was in school for at least six months after she reported the rape.
"He told his friends to start harassing me," the victim said.
She vividly recalls the bullying in person and online.
"A lot of it was hurtful, mostly calling, saying that I was lying about being raped," the victim said.
Milo Schwab, the family attorney, says it wasn't until another student came forward that action was taken.
"It's unclear that the school even took action, the police took action," Schwab said.
According to the complaint,, a student came forward and confirmed the 17 year old admitted to the rape and other sexual relationships with 12-year-old girls at the high school.
According to Schwab, the teen has since pleaded guilty to the charges filed by Schwab's client and another student. He will be sentenced in the next few weeks.
The family filed the lawsuit against Jeffco Public Schools this week.
"The goal is to change the school, to make the school address these problems and to take seriously sexual assault," Schwab said.
Denver7 reached out to the Jefferson County School District, but a representative said the case is being handled by outside counsel and declined to comment.
The mother and daughter hope their efforts and pain lead to change.
"You have to report it and we have to talk about it because we have to make a change and if we don't talk about it, then change is never going to come," the mom said.
They are now encouraging anyone who has experienced sexual assault to speak out.