Family sues Lake Travis ISD, coach for $5M claiming ‘cover up’ of alleged 2017 sex assault

Travis County

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A family filed a federal lawsuit against Lake Travis Independent School District and a softball coach for $5 million after they say the school officials covered up the 2017 sexual assault of a student at Lake Travis High School. 

The school district and softball coach Billy Coleman are named as the defendants in the federal lawsuit that alleges Title IX violations for failing to protect the girl, known as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, and failing to adequately investigate the claims. The lawsuit claims the school district violated the Texas Constitution by violating the girl’s rights. 

Coleman was briefly put on administrative leave in September 2017 after the allegations came to light but after parents visited the high school principal and an investigation by the school district, he was reinstated in October. He has not been charged with a crime.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the District Court for the Western District of Texas, claims the girl was bullied by the school district and coach and members of the community after she came forward with the allegations. It says the coach was briefly put on leave in a move to placate the girl’s family but the school district’s investigation was allegedly “a sham and cover-up.” 

Once Coleman was reinstated as coach at Lake Travis High School, the lawsuit says the girl transferred to a different school district but the bullying continued. 

The girl now plays softball on her new school team. Two weeks ago, the lawsuit claims her new team was playing against her old team and she was struck by a fast-pitched softball. The lawsuit alleges the pitcher deliberately struck the girl with a fast pitch after Coleman told her to do so.

The lawsuit also claims Coleman previously taught at Randall High School in Amarillo where he had a history of sexually harassing his players. 

Lake Travis ISD told KXAN it is looking into the lawsuit and allegations. 

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