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Former Kentwood high schooler seeks damages after being raped by staff member | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

KENTWOOD, Mich. — A lawsuit filed against Kentwood Public Schools (KPS) this week alleges the district violated a former student’s civil rights after she reported an employee sexually assaulted her and officials did not take action to stop it.

Attorneys: Former Kentwood high schooler seeks damages after being raped by staff member

Marko Law, PLLC, the plaintiff’s attorneys, says she told her school counselor about the abuse a few months after it started, but KPS did nothing to intervene for more than year.

“The warning bells were going off. The school did nothing to protect this student from a sexual predator that was employed by the school,” Jon Marko, an attorney with Marko Law, PLLC, told FOX 17. “Whether you’re a government, a school or a law firm, like myself, everybody has to comply with this and that means that you have to take reasonable measures to make sure that people are not sexually abused or harassed or assaulted in your institution.”

The employee, John Hunt, 59, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced last July. He remains in prison according to state records.

In the lawsuit, it’s alleged that Hunt worked as a security officer and custodian for the district and began to groom the victim at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. She was 16 years old at the time.

It goes onto claim that from January 2019 through July 2020, Hunt repeatedly sexually assaulted her at East Kentwood High School and other locations around Kent County.

The victim reportedly disclosed an “unhealthy relationship” with Hunt to her school counselor in May 2019 and continued to talk about it in other sessions. Her medical records show the counselor documented the conversation in September 2019.

“This was a person in position of authority who groomed her and acted as, like, a father figure type, who then betrayed and abused that relationship and trust to sexually violate and exploit her, so she’s struggling with trust issues,” Marko said.

According to the lawsuit claims, KPS ignored those reports and did not step in to ensure further incidents did not occur— resulting in the victim losing her trust in people and suffering from episodes of nightmares, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Monetary damages are being sought.

“It’s devastating,” Marko said. “Anyone who has been subjected to sexual exploitation or abuse, especially at a very young age, it’s going to have rippling effects, life long effects. It effects her ability to have meaningful relationships with other people.”

Kentwood Public Schools has not returned multiple email and phone call requests for comment as of Thursday.

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