North Murray High student speaks out about sexual assault - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: North Murray High student speaks out about sexual assault

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MURRAY COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- A North Georgia family says they do not know where to turn, after a fellow student pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting their daughter at North Murray County High School.

They say it has been an uphill battle with the school system to keep their daughter safe.

Last semester, 17-year-old Kerstin Amos was waiting with a friend after cross country practice, when she says a 15-year-old classmate caught her off guard, sticking his hand up her shorts, and touching her inappropriately. 

"I was embarrassed more than anything, because a bunch of people saw it," she says.

With encouragement from a friend, Kerstin told school officials about the incident.

"It was caused by the school, because they failed to do their part," says Kerstin's dad, Brandon.

Her parents say this goes beyond the fact a coach was not supervising the students after cross country practice. They say it is the way officials handled her situation later.

"Every time you approach someone and try to get help, you always get the finger pointed to go talk with someone else," says Brandon.

The 15-year-old boy was charged with felony aggravated sexual battery, but that was downgraded to a misdemeanor when they say he pleaded guilty.

"That's not a silly little boy prank. That's not a little minor infraction. That's a huge deal," says Kerstin's mom, Amanda.

Kerstin says he was also kicked off cross country and suspended ten days.

He signed a school safety plan, saying he would have no contact with her at school or school sponsored events.

But Kerstin would still see him in the hallways.

"It's a daily torture at school having to be faced by the person that did that to her," says Amanda.

The family took out a protective order against the boy and reached out to the school for support.

They got an email response from Administrative Services Director Mike Tuck saying in part, "We share your concern and strive to promote a safe and secure environment...but we must balance her rights against those of the other student and our student body at large."

Tuck went on to write, "At a school the size of North Murray, we have little control over who comes in contact with whom."

But the boy showed up to Kerstin's end of the year cross country banquet.

"He violates this order by coming to a banquet that my daughter attended. He clearly violated it in front of the team members, in front of the coach of the school," says Brandon.

The family filed a police report, and it says he was cleared. Any action against him is sealed in juvenile court.

"I've been told a lot of things. I've been told this kid plays sports good. I've been told he has a last name," says Brandon.

For Kerstin, it has created painful doubts.

"I don't know, I just feel like it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. So why even try?"

"There's been several times she's said, 'I just wish I hadn't even told', and that's nothing for anybody to have to say," says Amanda.

"I just don't want this kid being back here. Let my kid finish school, without having to deal with this on a daily basis," says Brandon.

Tuck further explained in his email to Kerstin's parents that the school has taken steps to make sure Kerstin and the student do not have classes or planned activities together, and that enforcement of the protection order is a matter of the courts.

We reached out to Tuck for comment by phone and email.

He tells Channel 3, "Schools are bound by privacy and confidentiality laws relating to students. Therefore, I am unable to comment on this matter, other than to say it was dealt with according to law and pursuant to the district's code of conduct and discipline procedures."

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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