School officials, police and a young man who said he was among several varsity football players accused of rape responded Tuesday to a lawsuit filed against the school district by a former student who said she was sexually assaulted on the Culver City High School campus on multiple occasions.
In a statement posted to its website, Culver City Unified School District Superintendent Dave LaRose said he had only recently became aware of the lawsuit "regarding an incident in December 2013." The district, he said, responded immediately to the allegations and cooperated with police.
He declined to get into specifics over the allegations, but said the district remained "unwavering" in its comments to protect its students.
"We respond aggressively to any action that challenges this priority," LaRose said.
The civil complaint was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 14 on behalf of a girl who was a 14-year-old freshman at the time of alleged repeated sexual assaults. In it, the student -- identified only as "A.S." -- outlined sexual abuses that allegedly occurred at the hands of three upperclassmen on school grounds. The suit also claimed district officials were negligent.
It was filed by attorneys Jonati and Judith Yedidsion of the downtown L.A.-based law firm Yedidsion Seber Yedidsion LLP.
The suit named 18-year-old Jeremy Weaver, along with two other unnamed minor upperclassmen, all of whom were starters on the school's varsity football team.
A boy who said he was one of the two unnamed football players contacted KTLA Tuesday morning to provide his side of the story. Now 18 years old, the man did not want to be identified.
He said the allegations in the lawsuit were false, saying he never had sex with "A.S."
"The girl ... she's just embarrassed" he told KTLA. "I think her parents need someone to blame."
He did witness the girl having sex with other players on multiple occasions, he said.
The sex, he said, was consensual and frequent.
"Room 57 ... that was like the playground of all dirty things," he said. "The assistant principals ... they knew mostly a lot of everything that went down. They even caught us a couple of times."
On Tuesday, Culver City police released a statement about the sexual assaults, saying Weaver was arrested after the victim made a complaint on Jan. 13, 2014, to a school employee about the alleged assaults.
After an investigation, Weaver was taken into custody two days later, according to police and online county inmate records.
Weaver was charged and then convicted in June of one count of illegal sex acts with a minor, according to the Culver City Police Department. Three other charges were either dismissed or not prosecuted, court records showed. Weaver was sentenced July 8 to five years of probation, police said.
No charges were filed against the other two boys, police said.
The attorney for "A.S." said her client stands by her allegations.
"She was 14 years old at the time," Judith Yedidsion said. "Even if perpetrators are going to say that she consented ... she doesn't have the legal authority to consent."
The civil lawsuit, which seeks unlimited monetary damages, states that the alleged assaults occurred between Dec. 4 and Dec. 22, 2013.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was raped and sexually assaulted after Weaver and one of the other alleged assailants asked her to hang out with them in the school’s parking lot.
The girl was also forced to perform oral sex and other sex acts on the defendants in front of the others, the lawsuit stated.
The three defendants surreptitiously videotaped the assaults and showed the footage to other students at the school while also "spreading malicious rumors" about her sexual promiscuity, according to the suit.
She was a virgin before the attacks, the lawsuit suited.
The trio threatened and harassed the girl verbally, and attempted to coerce her into rescinding her report of the assaults, the complaint stated.
In the aftermath of the incidents, "A.S." suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, sleeplessness and anxiety among other emotional injuries, and later tried to commit suicide. She was forced to transfer schools to "escape the relentless bullying, humiliation and trauma of having to go to school with her abusers," the suit said.
She eventually moved to Chicago in order to find “respite” from the effects of being sexually assaulted, according to the document.
The lawsuit alleges general negligence on the part of Weaver, the two other alleged assailants and the district. Additionally, it also accused the district of negligent supervision of students and negligence in the hiring and training of school employees.
"They could have installed proper security going in and out of parts of the campus they knew were more prone to have students engaging in activities that they shouldn't be engaging in," Yedidsion said.
The high school was not in session Tuesday because of a "non-student day" for the district, according to the school district's website.
Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported a former football player's role in a lawsuit against Culver City Unified School District. The story has been corrected.