Ohio parents file suit alleging school staff member sexually assaulted their 7-year-old son  

The parents of a 7-year-old child have sued an Ohio school district, superintendent and school board alleging their son was sexually assaulted by a district employee.  

Jerry North, a…

The parents of a 7-year-old child have sued an Ohio school district, superintendent and school board alleging their son was sexually assaulted by a district employee.  

Jerry North, a former custodian for Milton-Union Exempted Village School District, was arrested and charged with rape, gross sexual imposition and intimidation of a victim in May, according to Dayton 24/7 Now. 

The lawsuit contends school officials were made aware of the suspected abuse but failed in their duty to conduct a proper investigation and report the incidents as mandated by Ohio law.  

According to the family’s civil complaint, the alleged assaults began in August 2019 when North started following the child into the boys’ restroom and offering him candy, according to Dayton 24/7 Now.  

The parents are said to have noticed their child bringing home candy, and probed for its source. The boy alleged North would stare at him while he was in the restroom and wouldn’t give him privacy. The encounters allegedly escalated to sexual contact, with the child claiming threats of more abuse if he dared to speak out.  

The parents are said to have called police on April 23 to report the alleged inappropriate sexual conduct after their son informed them of a past assault, Dayton 24/7 Now reports.  

“The Miami County Sheriff’s Office was never contacted by anyone about Jerry North and inappropriate relationships with children,” Sheriff Dave Duchak said. “My Office became aware of the allegations from the West Milton Police Department, who the allegations were reported to and acted on.” 

North was arrested and charged on May 2 after police interviewed the alleged victim. The assaults are said to have occurred until May 31, 2021. 

In response to the lawsuit, parents and students stood outside Milton-Union Schools chanting “protect our kids” in protest, according to WHIO.   

“We are letting the community know full force that we have a problem with our school district, and we are in support of the victim and other people who are being bullied,” community member Juliann Price said, according to WHIO.  

Price said they “want the superintendent gone” even if they don’t have the backing from the school board.  

Last Monday, the school board held an emergency meeting but didn’t allow parents and community members a chance to speak, frustrating parents further, according to Dayton 24/7 Now. The board maintained that since the allegations were discussed in an executive session, board members also couldn’t talk about them.  

“I have a lot of concerns as of right now,” district parent Kodi Williamson said, according to WHIO. “Are there other children, as there are more people that haven’t reported that are too scared to come out and say anything?”  

“It’s like they don’t care what we have to say,” Annette McFluffie, a community member said. “That bothers me. That bothers me to the core.”  

The civil trial is set to begin on Nov. 28, according to Dayton Daily News. The parents are asking for $200,000 in damages. 

A lawyer for North vehemently denied the allegations against him. 

“The wild and unsubstantiated claims against Jerry are completely false,” the lawyer wrote in a statement to WHIO. “There is absolutely no corroborating evidence to support any claim that Mr. North did anything wrong and ‘eyewitnesses’ identified by the accuser have come forward to tell the police that nothing happened. … 

“The school district has already denied these claims and the public should be aware that the allegations made in that complaint are contradicted by what these same people first told the police. It’s unreasonable to believe that so many people who have devoted their lives to helping students would ignore any legitimate accusation of this kind. This is not a case where no one was around, many people were identified and none of those individuals corroborated the allegations. 

“In the past, these types of allegations ruined many innocent people’s lives. An uncorroborated allegation from a single source is inherently unreliable. The media coverage at this point has focused only on the salacious nature of the story which has had a part in upsetting people. If the case is not dropped, then those that know the story is false will come forward and testify in court and we expect Jerry to be exonerated. 

“Until then, the case should not be tried in the media. Jerry and his family are the only victims here and those that see the reporting need to understand that Jerry is not just presumed innocent, he is.”