Attorneys speak out in Madison Co. Schools rape suit - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Attorneys speak out in Madison Co. Schools rape suit

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A 14-year-old girl alleged in court documents that she was raped in the Sparkman Middle School bathroom by another student. A 14-year-old girl alleged in court documents that she was raped in the Sparkman Middle School bathroom by another student.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The attorney for a former teacher's aide at the center of a rape suit spoke exclusively to WAFF 48 News and said his client is not responsible.

Earlier this week, WAFF reported on a lawsuit filed by a 14-year-old former Sparkman Middle School student. The suit claimed the 14-year-old was used as bait to lure an alleged attacker into a bathroom. The suit said the alleged attacker had previously propositioned her. The girl claimed she was then raped. 

Attorney Griff Belser represents the teacher's aide named as a defendant in the lawsuit. He said his client alerted administration prior to the attack about what was going to happen.

According to the victim's attorney, Eric Artrip, school staff and the victim created a plan to catch another student in the act after he had propositioned the victim. Belser said his client never gave the green light to carry out the plan. Belser said the blame for the alleged attack needs to fall on the school's administrators for not protecting the girl, and not his client.

"It's important to note that [my client] was a teacher's aide," said Belser. "She informed the authority figures what was going to happen, no one stopped her, no one told her she was wrong, no one told her anything."

"It was devastating," said the plaintiff's attorney, Eric Artrip, when describing the 2010 attack. The Huntsville-based attorney said he wants justice for his client. He confirmed the victim has been in counseling since the alleged rape. 

Belser also accused Madison County Schools of forcing his client out of her position after the allegations surfaced.

"My client would contend that she was ordered to write a letter of resignation, that she was told she would ultimately have a hearing in front of the board, and that likely she would be terminated," said Belser.

A former Sparkman Middle School assistant principal is also named as a defendant in the suit. Earlier in the week, Madison County Schools confirmed that assistant principal is now a principal at a different district school. Calls placed to Madison County Schools and the district's attorneys on Friday were not returned.

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