La Vernia hazing civil trial postponed indefinitely

WILSON Co., TX – A civil trial surrounding a horrific hazing scandal that took place in La Vernia in March and ended in the arrest of 13 high school students has been postponed indefinitely.

According to Katie Payne an attorney with the Walsh Gallegos Law Firm that is representing the school district, a motion was filed to dismiss the case without prejudice.

Payne said that the request for the dismissal was made due to an issue with the plaintiff’s attorney’s health.

Payne said this means that the plaintiff in the suit will be able to reopen the case if they want, but that is completely up to them.

The lawsuit was seeking damages for civil rights violations and was filed by the parents of one of the alleged rape victims in April.

Specific allegations in the lawsuit included:

"The subject hazing rituals and traditions are a form of bullying and have been part of the culture of the School’s football team for at least a decade, according to news accounts, and possibly longer.

The teams’ coaches have sanctioned these rituals, while other school officials, including La Vernia ISD and the School’s principal, athletic director, and coaches, turned a blind eye toward the abuse, even after the abuse was reported to them.

Indeed, the Plaintiffs are but a fraction of the students who have been physically and sexually assaulted pursuant to these sadistic hazing rituals which include rape, sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration, and sexual abuse. In addition to seeking damages to compensate Plaintiffs for their psychological injuries, CHILD DOE, who still attends the School, also seek injunctive relief that will put an end to the hazing rituals, so that neither they nor future members of the School’s football team will be subjected to the same abuses Plaintiffs have suffered."

Read the full lawsuit here.

The complaint named La Vernia Independent School District Superintendent Jose Moreno, La Vernia High School Principal Kristen Martin, La Vernia High School Athletic directors Brandon Layne and Richard Hinojosa, as well as coaches Chris Taber, Scott Grub and Keith Barnes.

No more details have been released, and a date for a new trial has not been scheduled.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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