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Witness Calls Site Of Alleged Culver City HS Rapes 'Playground Of All Dirty Things'
A member of Culver City High School's football team who may have been accused of raping a 14-year-old girl claims that not only was the sex he witnessed consensual, but there was a room on campus students knew they could use for sex—and school officials knew about it.
News broke yesterday of a civil claim filed last week by the family of a 15-year-old girl identified only as "A.S." against Culver City High School, accusing the district of not protecting the then 14-year-old girl from three older football players she says raped her multiple times on campus in December of 2013, before distributing video of the assaults to other students.
One of the students who was 18 at the time was arrested and convicted of illegal sex acts with a minor, though the other two weren't charged. The victim's attorney Judith Yedidsion points out a 14-year-old cannot legally consent to sex with an 18-year-old in the first place.
A male student who was named in the suit as a defendant—he's 18 now but was a minor then—denied ever having sex with A.S., but said he did see her having sex with other students—consensually and often. He told KTLA she was just embarrassed of her behavior and that her parents were looking for someone to blame.
"Before everything happened it was always a question," he said. There was no coercion, he added. It wasn't 'look here, you're gonna do this for us. You're not gonna say anything or we're gonna do this.' No, we're not even those type of dudes."
He also identified a particular room on campus, Room 57, that he called "the playground of all dirty things."
"The assistant principals…they knew mostly a lot of everything that went down. They even caught us a couple of times," he said.
In the complaint, A.S. said she was lured out to a parking lot by two players, including 18-year-old Jeremy Weaver and one unnamed minor, under the guise of listening to music. She said that when she arrived, they raped her. She said Weaver, that player, and another unidentified minor continued to force themselves on her for the next several days on campus. They told her not to tell anyone, then tried to intimidate her when she went to school officials. They also took a video of one incident and spread it around school, telling other students that she was promiscuous. The subsequent bullying was so bad that A.S. said she changed schools twice, ultimately moving to Chicago, and has attempted suicide.
The Culver City Police Department verified via a release sent yesterday that a minor student reported sexual assault to a Culver City High School official on January 13, 2014. Weaver, the only adult at the time of the assault, was arrested on January 15, 2014. Of the four felony charges Weaver faced—three involving illegal sex acts with a minor and one count of dissuading a witness—he was convicted of one count of illegal sex acts with a minor and sentenced to five years probation. The two minor players were not charged.
Culver City Superintendent Dave LaRose released a statement via the district's website, saying the district was aware of the lawsuit.
"CCUSD and our entire community believe the health, welfare and safety of our students is paramount, and we responded immediately and cooperatively to this incident with the Culver City Police Department. While I cannot comment about specific details regarding the allegations contained in the lawsuit, our District will remain unwavering in our commitment to protect the children we serve and respond aggressively to any action that challenges this priority."