Watch CBS News

Parents Say Teenage Son With A Disability Was Raped By Fellow Student In School Bathroom, Allege CPS Coverup

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A mother and father say their 15-year-old developmentally disabled son was raped in a school bathroom – and they say the Chicago Public Schools refused to say it happened, and also blamed their child.

As CBS 2's Irika Sargent reported Wednesday night, CPS tried to get a judge to dismiss the case twice – the latest time Wednesday. The motions were denied.

The parents wanted their identities concealed, but they have spoken for the first time on camera – only to CBS 2. We want to warn you that the details may be disturbing to read and hear for some.

"How the heck did that happen, in school?" the boy's mother said. "I mean, no one was watching."

"We'd thought he'd be safe in school, you know," the boy's father said.

The mother and father said their son was raped at least twice in the bathroom at William J. Bogan Computer Technical High School, 3939 W. 79th St. His attacker, they believe, was another teen at the school.

They say it came to light after their son confided in a classmate.

"He told her what happened, and then she went and reported it to a teacher," the boy's mother said.

Since then, the parents say Bogan staff and Chicago Public Schools have fought them at every turn – refusing to admit the attack happened or take steps to stop such a thing from happening again – and even blaming their son.

They say while meeting with the principal, she asked their son to act out the alleged crime

When asked how that conversation went, the boy's mother said, "It was terrible."

"So she told him to 'stand up and show me how it happened,'" she said. "And then, 'Well, did it hurt?' I mean, that was - what kind of question is that?"

The parents did not want to press charges against the other disabled teen, believing he needed help. But they are suing CPS, contending the district failed to protect their son.

They said an action was in place for both students requiring an aide to escort each one throughout the school building – but that didn't happen.

Sargent: "Did you think that that aide would even be supervising him as he went to the bathroom?"

Boy's Mother: "Yes."

After they filed suit, their attorney, Carolyn Daley, said she discovered the same boy had a history of aggressive behavior and sexual misconduct – including 27 conduct violations.

"He was found in a bathroom with two other students from the cluster program, or special education program, at Bond Elementary," Daley said. "One of the students was bent over in front of him with his pants down."

Daley said even after her client was raped at Bogan, CPS didn't take steps to stop it from happening to others.

"They didn't even bother to tell his teachers or his aides that he was accused of sexually assaulted another student in the bathroom. They carried on as if nothing happened," Daley said. "Well, what happens when you do that? He ended up sexually assaulting another cognitively disabled child in the bathroom at Bogan High School eight months later."

We spoke to that child's mother in 2018.

"He told me he was hurt. 'I'm hurt'," the other child's mother said in the 2018 story, "and he mentioned blood. I mean, I went crazy."

CPS hired a private law firm, calling the deposition testimony of the boy in the latest case "self-serving" and saying they had no duty to protect him in the bathroom.

"The most vulnerable spot for a child at a school is in the bathroom," Daley said.

"I think was the most shocking was when the lawyer for CPS said, 'Do you know what gay means?' When she started to go there," the boy's mother said. "And then to say that: 'Well, do you think it's wrong to be gay? Did your parents tell you it was wrong?'"

In a statement, CPS said: "Litigation is intended to resolve disagreements and the District works to obtain acceptable resolutions in all lawsuits filed against it. Beyond this, the District will not comment while the litigation is pending."

The trial starts next week.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.