Court: Iowa High School Liable for Sexual Assault

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says a school can be held liable for the sexual assault of a special education student who had skipped class.

In a 5-2 decision, the court found that schools may be sued for injuries to students that occur after school hours and off school grounds if negligence by their employees increased the risk.

Dissenting justices called the ruling an "unprecedented expansion of school-district liability for injuries well outside school activities."

The case involves a 14-year-old Cedar Rapids Kennedy student. She skipped her final class and met a 19-year-old senior with whom she had a relationship. The girl was eventually assaulted in a garage while the 19-year-old's friend shot her with BBs.

The court says school officials "acted unreasonably" by doing little to investigate the girl's absence.
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