BILLINGS - A former Skyview High School student who was raped by a classmate has filed a federal lawsuit against Billings School District 2 alleging school officials failed to protect her from her assailant and his friends even after formal criminal charges were filed.
The lawsuit filed earlier this year seeks unspecified damages from the school district for sexual discrimination under Title IX. The lawsuit does not identify the former student by name and identifies her classmate who was convicted of rape by the initials B.P.
In late 2019, former Billings Skyview student and a member of the school football team Brayden pond pleaded guilty in Yellowstone County District Court to two felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent involving classmates at the high school. In exchange for his admission, prosecutors dismissed three other rape charges. Pond is currently serving a 15-year sentence.
The lawsuit alleges a string of failures by school staff and administrators after the female student reported the sexual assault to a school resource officer and after criminal charges were filed against Pond. In one instance, the lawsuit states, the victim found the severed head of a rat staked to her car door.
According to the lawsuit, the victim was subjected to repeated and constant bullying by Pond a group of his friends to the point where she dropped out of school to continue her education at home. Meanwhile, the lawsuit states, Pond and others were allowed to continue their education in a school setting.
"SD2 failed to take any meaningful and/or appropriate actions against (Pond) or the other harassers who were terrorizing (the victim) and SD2 failed to take any meaningful steps to protect (the victim) from the gender-based harassment, bullying, and intimidation," the lawsuit states.