The mother of a 15-year-old Special Olympics athlete who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a coach is now suing the South Carolina chapter of the group.
The amended suit, which also targets Lexington School District Two, claims Cornelius Davis was allowed to be alone with the girl in a hotel room for nearly four hours.
"She told me that she was sexually assaulted by her coach," the girl's mother told WIS.
She said Davis was trusted. He was her daughter's basketball coach at Brookland-Cayce High School.
Davis was with the 15-year old in Mount Pleasant when an incident report said Davis took the girl from her room, telling the chaperone that they were going to see her mother. The report said they were gone for four hours.
"She said 'Mom, I was with my teacher. We slept together,'" said her mother.
The girl's mother said what was equally troubling is that she wasn't told of her daughter's 4-hour absence until the next day, almost 24 hours after the alleged abuse took place.
"Even the greatest organizations can sometimes make a horrible mistake," said Columbia attorney David Massey, who is representing the mother in a lawsuit against the school district that now includes the Special Olympics of South Carolina.
He said it's a clear case of negligence.
"The South Carolina Special Olympics Chaperones duty requires 24-hour supervision of these special needs children," he said. "Obviously that ball was dropped."
"Not only did they dropped the ball they dropped me," said the mother. "I didn't find out to a full 24 hours after."
Davis is out on bond for the incident in Mount Pleasant. He faces similar charges in two other counties.
The teen is now home-schooled and receiving therapy.
"All I can do as a mom is just sit there, look at my baby and basically cry, because there's basically nothing that we can do other than what we're already doing," said her mother.
Davis was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the case.
The suit also alleges the school district and Special Olympics did not do enough to protect the child from Davis.
Davis was placed on administrative leave from Brookland-Cayce, and is not allowed on school property.
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