U.S. Department of Education investigating alleged rape at Brighton High School,

41 views 12:20 pm 0 Comments August 15, 2023

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story included a quote that misidentified individuals and their roles in the investigation. We have removed the quote. CBS News Detroit regrets the error.

BRIGHTON, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – A Brighton area mother is pushing for change within the school district after her daughter reported being raped in a Brighton High School bathroom in 2022. 

Currently, there is no lawsuit against the district. Instead, an attorney for the family tells CBS News Detroit the issue is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

“We want the Department of Education to review the policies and procedures that Brighton employed in this case and essentially advise Brighton,” said Elizabeth Abdnour, the family’s attorney. 

According to Abdnour, in June 2022, the victim, who will be referred to as “Jane,” was 12 years old and a student at Scranton Middle School in Brighton when she and a friend were invited to Brighton High School by a boy whom Jane had a relationship. 

“Somehow, he knew about some doors that were unlocked, and he and some friends let her into the building and into the bathroom, and that’s where he raped her,” Abdnour said. 

According to Abdnour, once Jane’s mother found out about the alleged rape, she called the police and the school and filed a Title IX complaint with the school. 

“Title IX protects students from discrimination based on sex in education. That includes situations where a student might be sexually harassed or sexually assaulted,” Abdnour said. 

It was the school’s investigation of the incident, Abdnour said, that made the family reach out for help. 

Abdnour claims Jane was interviewed at least once without her mother present.   

“This is just, I mean, it’s Title IX 101,” Abdnour said.

According to Title IX guidelines, a complainant has the right to an advisor of their choosing during the investigation process. 

“We’re talking about a 12-year-old. …. So that was just extremely scary for her,” Abdnour said. 

“The main thing that my clients want at this point is they don’t want another 12-year-old girl or any age child of any gender to have to go through a process like she went through.”

Brighton Area Schools Superintendent Matthew Outlaw issue the following statement:

“School districts and law enforcement have certain limitations on what we can and cannot say, which can lead to an incomplete accounting of an event. Local police have shared that this matter was ‘thoroughly investigated and is currently closed’. As a school district, we rely on the professional expertise and experience of our law enforcement partners and we assisted them with the investigation of these serious allegations.”

CBS News Detroit reached out to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office for more information on the incident but did not receive a response. 

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