COLUMBIA, S.C., March 28 (UPI) -- Officials at a South Carolina military academy condoned the hazing of a 13-year-old cadet who suffered repeated beatings and was raped, a lawsuit said.
The federal lawsuit said the hazing began with verbal assaults four days after the boy enrolled in 2008 in the private, all-male Camden Military Academy in Camden, S.C., and escalated into physical assaults and rape, The (Columbia) State reported.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia by the parents of the boy, who pulled him out of the school at the start of the spring 2009 semester.
The State did not name the parents to protect the identity of a juvenile, who may have been the victim of a sexual assault.
The suit said school officials ignored injuries the boy suffered and minimized complaints from him and his parents.
Defendants named in the suit include headmaster Col. Eric Boland, tactical officer Sgt. Maj. Vertis Wilder and four other employees.
Boland referred questions to the academy's attorney, Ronald Diegel, who was not available for comment Tuesday.
Asked if the academy condoned hazing, Boland said, "Absolutely not."
After the boy, identified in the suit as "JBC," reported the first verbal assault and asked to call his mother, he was put in isolation, and Wilder escorted him to the barracks, the suit said.
"Within hours, a gang of cadets accosted JBC in the latrine. They pushed him into a corner, beat him and then 'informed' him that 'snitches get stitches' at CMA," the suit stated.
"Thereafter, JBC began to face a continuous barrage of physical abuse at CMA. CMA cadets repeatedly beat JBC in his face, body and testicles. CMA cadets placed a plastic bag over JBC's head and tried to suffocate him. And, most horribly, two CMA cadets sodomized him and one CMA cadet brutally raped him."
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said his staff investigated an alleged sexual assault of an academy cadet, but no charges were filed.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
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