Federal lawsuit alleges nine males raped student at Many High School


Source: Sabine Index

Nine male students kidnapped and raped another student at Many High School, according to a federal lawsuit submitted Thursday in the Western District of Louisiana. Numerous allegations were made in the 45-page document filed by the stepmother and child’s father. Named as defendants in the case are the town of Many, Mayor Ken Freeman, the Many police chief and some of his officers, the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office and some deputies, Sabine Parish District Attorney Don Burkett and his office; and the Sabine Parish School Board and some school district employees; including two coaches.

The lawsuit at its base alleges that people in places of authority failed to report the assault as mandated by law, failed to accept a report about or investigate the attack, and/or failed to prosecute those who are responsible for the assault. The victim’s stepmother further states that she was not told about the assault until three days after it happened, and that the person who told her was not an official, but someone who flagged her down on the side of the road to show her the video.

The plaintiffs claim that an investigation was begun only after they went to the Louisiana State Police after having approached some of the town’s police officers and some deputies. Six were arrested following the investigation. Further claims made in the document include one of the coaches walking in on the attack, a child having been attacked the previous day and others before him, and a conspiracy to punish and silence the victims.

One allegation states that officials and citizens discussed letters of recommendation on school board letterhead in support of leniency for the alleged rapists. The family states that they have lived in fear due to the suspects being released from detention.

In print edition Feb. 4, 2021