The family of a 12-year-old boy has filed a lawsuit against the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad alleging a group of cadets sexually assaulted the boy in July.
The lawsuit, filed in San Diego Superior Court, comes months after the academy settled the third lawsuit by victims of sexual abuse by two Army and Navy Academy administrators.
One of the administrators was former headmaster, Jeffrey Barton, who is now serving a life term in prison for six felony counts of having sex with a minor.
The new lawsuit from the unnamed minor and his mother claims other cadets grabbed the boy’s genitals and harassed him at a “leadership camp” held by the academy in July.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges there were inappropriate sexual acts occurring between the cadets during the camp as well as unsanitary conditions. The lawsuit also claims that administrators were aware of the alleged assault and did not report it as required by state law.
A spokesperson for the Army and Navy Academy told NBC 7 that the academy would not comment about the specific allegations in the lawsuit but denied any wrongdoing.
“We fully deny all the allegations in the lawsuit. However, we believe it should be settled in a court of law, not in the news media and therefore have no further comment,” a spokesperson said.
Earlier this year after the settlements were reached in the previous assault cases, academy adminstrators stated they had placed new measures to address sexual assaults on campus. Attorneys for the cadet question whether that has happened.
Los Angeles-based attorney Eric Rudin is one of the attorneys for the cadet and his family. He said the academy’s past needs to be factored in when looking at the case.
"Sexual abuse, and more specifically, sexual hazing is a systemic problem and far more prevalent than anyone realizes,” Rudin said.
Added Rudin, “One of the places where children are supposed to be safe from such horrors is in a military boarding academy such as the Army and Navy Academy. Unfortunately, this isn't the Army and Navy Academy's first go around when it comes to protecting its cadets from abuse. The status quo is unacceptable and must change."