Lawsuit claims Seneca Valley student is victim of false accusations

October 3, 2018 Cranberry Breaking News

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JACKSON TWP - The parents of a Seneca Valley School student said their son was arrested, wrongfully prosecuted, placed on probation, incarcerated, harassed and defamed in a case of gender based discrimination against males falsely accused of sexual assault that began in the summer of 2017.

Michael Flood Jr., a district teacher, and his wife Alecia Flood of Zelienople filed the suit Monday in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh claiming their minor son, identified as T.F. in the suit, was tormented and suffered physical and psychological trauma as a result of the false allegations.

They name T.F's female supervisor at a swimming pool where he worked as a lifeguard, her parents, four minor district students and their parents, an assistant principal, guidance counselors, the school district, the Butler County District Attorney's Office and the county as defendants.

They seek a jury trial and unspecified damages.

In the suit, the plaintiffs call Megan Villegas, the pool supervisor, and the four Seneca Valley Intermediate High School students identified as K.S, C.S., E.S. and H.R., “mean girls” and argue that they twice conspired in person and through electronic communication to falsely accuse T.F. of sexual assault.

During that summer, T.F worked as a lifeguard at the Zelienople Community Pool with K.S. Villegas, who was a supervisor, told people she was going to get T.F. fired, according to the suit.

After allegedly conspiring with Villegas, K.S. falsely accused T.F. of committing a sexual assault at the pool on or about July 19 when Villegas was not present. Villegas told the company that employed the guards that she was there when the assault took place, according to the suit. T.F. was fired July 26.

On Oct. 3 a teacher overheard K.S. telling other students that T.F. sexually assaulted her. K.S. then told a guidance counselor that T.F. sexually assaulted her. The counselor reported him to ChildLine, a state program for reporting child abuse.

In an Oct. 4 interview with the Butler County Alliance for Children, K.S. accused T.F. of sexual assault.

On Oct. 8, T.F was charged with indecent assault and two counts of harassment. He denied the allegations, but his parents accepted a consent decree that placed him on juvenile probation for six months.

On March 23, 2018, T.F. received a Snapchat message from C.S.'s phone inviting him to her home to visit with her, H.R. and E.S., and saying her parents weren't home.

Then at school, K.S. walked C.S. to the guidance counselor's office where C.S. reported that T.F. entered her home uninvited and sexually assaulted her.

He was charged with indecent assault, forcible compulsion, criminal trespass and simple assault. On April 10, Jackson Township police and Butler County Juvenile Probation Officer Michael Trego removed T.F. from class and placed him in leg and wrist shackles and took him to the Keystone Education Center juvenile detention facility.

At an April 11 hearing, T.F. was placed in Keystone for nine days and eight nights.

Upon T.F.'s release to house arrest on April 18, Trego told him he could not leave the house except to go to therapy, he could not tell people about the ankle monitor he had to wear and had to wear clothes that covered the device, according to the suit.

After 28 days, T.F. was allowed outside only to mow the lawn, but he had to wear long pants to cover the monitor, according to the suit.

T.F. received homebound instruction through the end of the school year and was “deprived of his liberty for 50 days,” according to the suit.

Then T.F's parents obtained Snapchat messages from another student who was at the residence on March 23. Those messages from H.R. and E.S. indicated that C.S. lied about the allegations against T.F., according to the suit.

The plaintiffs said other students started coming forward saying the girls fabricated the allegations against T.F.

After his parents met with assistant district attorney Russ Karl in May, Karl interviewed E.S. and H.R. and they admitted that T.F. didn't commit sexual assault. C.S. also told Karl that she lied, the suit says.

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