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After two SC special needs students sexually assaulted, families file lawsuits

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Allan Capers (copy)

Justin Bamberg, pictured on Thursday, April 18, 2019. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

A pair of lawsuits against Orangeburg County school officials were filed this week after the families of two special needs students claimed another student sexually abused their children at Edisto High School.

The suits alleges that the Orangeburg County School District and its employees were negligent and failed to respond to "multiple occurrences of disability and gender-based sexual assaults of and sexual violence against" the two special needs students.

Both victims are teenagers who have pre-kindergarten abilities, said Justin Bamberg, an attorney representing the victims and their families.

"One of the special needs students who was abused was not to be left alone while on campus," according to a statement by Bamberg's firm. "In spite of that mandate, the student was left alone as he went to the bathroom and the perpetrator followed him into the bathroom and committed several sexual acts against his will."

The suits allege that a substitute teacher was in charge of the students during that time and that the students weren't properly monitored.

Both victims are now being home-schooled and are receiving therapy, Bamberg said. Both will likely need therapy for the rest of their lives.

The accused attacker is also a minor who has special needs, the attorney said. That student has been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The case is pending.

The alleged sexual assaults occurred on multiple occasions earlier this year at Edisto High School, "all while under the care and supervision of teachers and school officials," according to a statement by Bamberg's firm.

Both victims suffered injury, pain and mental anguish because of the assaults, Bamberg said.

The suits ask that a judge award monetary damages to the victims' families.

Sara Coello contributed to this report. 

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

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