MCPS To Pay $9.7 Million in Damascus Sex Assault Case Settlement

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is paying $9.7 million to settle the lawsuits against the Montgomery County Board of Education, former Damascus High School principal Casey Crouse, former football coaches Vincent Colbert and Eric Wallich, and former athletic director Joseph Doody, stemming from the sexual assault in the boy’s locker room at Damascus High School in October of 2019.

In a FOX 5 report, the victim’s attorneys shared that they believe this is the largest settlement of its kind in Maryland history. “The Board Of Education has agreed to pay these four young men who were sexually assaulted at Damascus High School a total of $9.7 million dollars, and that appears to be appears to a record settlement in the State of Maryland,” said attorney Timothy Maloney.” MCPS wrote in a statement to FOX 5, that they have “taken extensive measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. This is protocol rooted in an increase in monitoring and oversight of all locker rooms across our school district.

MCPS released the following statement in February 2020, when the civil lawsuit was filed: “Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has received copies of two lawsuits stemming from the sexual assault in the boys’ locker room at Damascus High School on October 31, 2018. In the wake of the incident, MCPS undertook an internal investigation and commissioned an external review, the results of which have been shared with the community.  The lawsuits filed today raise a series of additional allegations about prior hazing and sexual assaults—many of which have never been reported to MCPS leadership.  We trust that the attorneys who filed the lawsuits have shared their allegations with law enforcement.  If they have not, we sincerely hope they will immediately share any evidence they may have uncovered so it can be fully vetted, as part of the State’s Attorney’s Office’s ongoing investigation. 

It is important for the entire community to understand that the allegations in any legal complaint will be tested through an extensive process to determine whether they can be proven true.  While that legal process unfolds, we are committed to working together to respect the privacy, safety and well-being of all our students, families and staff. Our thoughts remain with the students and families of the Damascus High School community as we engage in this latest phase of the legal process.

Featured photo courtesy of Google Maps

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