VERONA — A young girl was sexually abused by a male classmate in the bathroom at her elementary school for years, according to a new disturbing lawsuit.

The first-grade student at F.N. Brown School in Verona was just six years old when the abuse began in October 2021, the lawsuit filed last week in Superior Court in Essex County said.

According to court documents, a boy in the victim's class would follow her to the bathroom. He then crawled under the bathroom stall door and molested her each time, the lawsuit said.

The abuse continued for more than a year and into the second grade, according to the lawsuit. The girl was sexually abused in more than 20 separate incidents, the lawsuit said.

F.N. Brown School (Google Maps)
F.N. Brown School (Google Maps)

"Your mom isn’t going to be able to help you," the boy said, according to the lawsuit.

The victim has since left F.N. Brown and attends a private school. It was the only way she could escape the abuse because her second-grade teacher and school staff refused to separate the two students, according to the lawsuit.

Teacher forced girl to apologize to her abuser, lawsuit says

According to the lawsuit, the girl's second-grade teacher found a note on Jan. 20, 2023 that said the boy was "bad."

When the teacher asked the girl about the note, the girl said the boy did "bad things" and that he had touched her "down there," the lawsuit said.

According to the lawsuit, the teacher never reported the accusation and instead forced the girl to apologize to the male student for making the accusation. The students were never separated in class; they continued to sit next to each other with their desks touching, the lawsuit said.

F.N. Brown School in Verona (Google Maps/Canva)
F.N. Brown School in Verona (Google Maps/Canva)

The same day, the boy put his hands down the victim's pants and triggered a "dissociative episode," the lawsuit said. She ran from the room and had to be escorted home by the police.

The lawsuit said that school officials also failed to properly investigate the accusations and mishandled the situation after the victim's mother got involved.

"The Verona Board of Education has and continues to investigate the allegations outlined in the Complaint," said Diane DiGiuseppe, superintendent of Verona schools.

Lawsuit says victim had "clear signs of sexual trauma"

The repeated sexual abuse left the girl with physical injuries to her genitals, including an infection, according to the lawsuit.

She also suffered from a myriad of psychological issues brought on by the abuse, the lawsuit said.

The girl, who is now nine years old, spent more than a week in May 2022 due to a dissociative episode brought on by the trauma, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit said that after she ran out of the classroom in January 2023, the girl was taken to Hackensack Meridian Hospital. According to the lawsuit, a staff psychologist found she had "clear signs of sexual trauma."

The girl is also unable to use the bathroom, bathe, or sleep alone, according to the lawsuit. It said she also has frequent nightmares about being molested.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial, damages, and that staff at the district undergo training for anti-harassment and bystander intervention.

Worst 30 public schools in New Jersey

These are the 30 lowest-ranking public and charter schools in New Jersey based on the 2022-23 summative ratings provided by the state Department of Education's annual NJ School Performance Report. The schools are listed in descending order, with the lowest rating being zero.

Gallery Credit: Rick Rickman

NJ schools with the worst attendance problems

These 30 schools had the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the 2022-23 school year. Data is for the New Jersey Department of Education's annual NJ School Performance Reports.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM