- Former Honolulu student says school staffer slept as classmate raped her
- She was assaulted twice in a row by student with mental disability in 2012
- Rapes took place in school auditorium during band practice
- Claims special aide to autistic classmate was napping while assaults took place
- Lawsuit filed Monday targets aide and school staff for failing to supervise properly
An autistic high school student in Honolulu raped a classmate while the adult assigned to monitor him was taking a nap, a federal lawsuit filed Monday claimed.
The autistic student had a full-time one-on-one aide because he was known to be violent, the lawsuit accusing Hawaii's statewide school district of negligence said.
The aide was asleep when the 2012 attack happened during Pearl City High School band practice, the lawsuit said.
A 10th-grade girl was in the back of the band at the percussion section when the larger 11th-grader raped her once there, and then again in a curtained area of the auditorium.
Shown is the Pearl City High School band room. A 10th-grade girl was raped twice by a special needs student during band practice in 2012; she now says it happened while an aide napped
Throughout the attacks, the aide was sleeping in the audience section of the auditorium, the lawsuit said.
The girl reported the rape to her mother and police, said her attorney Peter Hsieh.
The autistic student was prosecuted in family court and convicted of two counts of first-degree sexual assault, Hsieh said.
'She dropped out of high school. She couldn't finish because of what happened to her,' Hsieh said.
But she later earned a GED diploma and is now studying bioengineering at the University of Hawaii, he said.
'She's basically turned an adverse situation as a motivator for her,' he said, adding that it was her decision to pursue a civil lawsuit.
Pearl City High School in Honolulu is shown. The rape victim dropped out of school after the attack, but later earned a GED and is now a bioengineering student at the University of Hawaii
In a separate, similar case, a jury last year determined that the Department of Education failed to protect a special education student who said she was raped by a special education classmate at Waianae High School.
The jury awarded the girl and her mother about $810,000 in damages, but the state appealed. The case is before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Hsieh, who also handled that case.
The two lawsuits send a 'loud message that there is a lack of proper training and supervision of teachers, aides and assistants,' Hsieh said, 'especially when it comes to children who have a history of violence.'
Kyle Miyashiro, who was a vice principal at Pearl City High School at the time and is named as a defendant, referred questions to the school's principal who didn't immediately respond Tuesday.
The aide, Bryan Simpson, is also named as a defendant and no longer works at the school, Miyashiro said. Simpson couldn't be reached for comment.
State Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz declined to comment on pending litigation.
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