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The Sanpete Messenger

Settlement reached in sex assault case

Settlement reached in sex assault case

 

By Robert Stevens 

Managing editor

12-26-2019

 

 

SALT LAKE CITY—The South Sanpete School District will pay $48,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the mother of a 14-year-old boy who was sexually assaulted by fellow ball players at Gunnison Valley High School.

According to documents filed on Tuesday, Dec. 17 with the U.S. District Court for Utah, the law firm that represented the boy and his mother, Misty Cox, will be paid $30,000. The victim himself, who is now 15, will get $18,000 in a fund he can only access once he turns 18.

In Sept. 2018, three members of the school football team held Cox’s son down while one rubbed his genitals on the boy’s face. Cox filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging administrators didn’t do enough to stop the perpetrator after earlier assaults and fostered an environment where harassment was tolerated.

After Cox’s son came forward to report the abuse, so did more than a dozen other students, who all said they too had been abused by the main perpetrator in the case.

Prosecutors of this case believe there may have been as many as 25 incidents of sexual assault on more than a dozen victims.

The principal abuser, a 16-year-old athlete, went on to admit to eight counts of forcible sexual abuse in juvenile court. The judge ordered him to move to St. George with his grandparents. complete 288 hours of community service, and complete individual and family outpatient therapy.

U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer approved the settlement.