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DIETRICH, Idaho – A school district in Idaho is facing a $10 million lawsuit after family members say a disabled student was raped by people he thought were his friends.
The victim, who was a member of the Dietrich High School football team, was allegedly attacked and raped by three students in the locker room.
According to KIVI, John Howard allegedly lured the victim into a locker room where he, 17-year-old Tanner Ward and a 16-year-old student began the attack.
Prosecutors say the victim was given a hug, which was the sign to begin the attack.
At that point, officials say Howard forced a coat hanger into the victim’s rectum and then allegedly “kicked the hangar several times, forcing it further into the [victim’s] rectum.”
When the victim came home, the victim’s mother saw his pants were ripped and rushed him to the hospital.
“I was disgusted by it. He was so willing to protect his friends, I didn’t find out about it until I walked in and saw his ripped underwear,” the victim’s mother told KIVI.
However, court documents allege that the attack was the culmination of a series of racially motivated events.
Court documents claim the victim, who is black, was taunted with racial slurs by members of the football team.
Officials also claim that Howard forced the victim to learn a racist song. Also, they say the victim was forced to fight Howard at a football camp while teammates and coaches watched. The lawsuit claims the victim was knocked unconscious.
As a result, the victim’s family filed a $10 million lawsuit against the district, claiming school officials saw the harassment and did nothing to stop it.
Howard and Ward are being charged as an adult. If convicted, they could face up to life in prison.