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Woman sues N.J. school district for $50M, says security guard sexually abused her when she was in high school logo 4 days ago Anthony G. Attrino,

A 26-year-old woman has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Paterson Board of Education and the former security guard she claims sexually assaulted her when she was a high school student there a decade ago.

The woman, who still lives in the city, claims she was sexually assaulted in Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts beginning when she was 15 and in the ninth grade, according to the suit, filed Nov. 17 in Superior Court of Passaic County.

The woman’s name is being withheld because NJ Advance Media does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

The woman claims the first incident of abuse occurred inside the school’s auditorium, where the security guard lured her on the premise that a dance teacher wanted to speak with her. When the she entered the theater, the security guard sexually assaulted her, the lawsuit states.

The suit claims the victim told an English teacher about the assault, but the complaint was “ignored, dismissed and not reported,” the suit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges the security guard assaulted the student several more times over the next couple of years and that the victim felt she had no option but to comply because her request for help had been ignored.

In the beginning of the student’s junior year, when the victim was 17, she told a friend about the abuse. The friend alerted an administrator, who met with the victim. “At this time, the sexual abuse stopped and a criminal investigation began,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit names the abuser as Rashawn McGuire, now 38, of Passaic County. Public records show McGuire was convicted in 2016 of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, sentenced to 210 days in jail and placed on probation for five years.

Property records show addresses for McGuire in Prospect Park and Paterson. However, phone numbers associated with his name and those addresses have been disconnected and he could not be reached for comment.

McGuire is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, along with the board of education and district officials.

Paul Brubaker, communications director for Paterson schools, would not discuss the allegations contained in the complaint.

“We are declining to comment as this matter is in litigation,” Brubaker said in an email Tuesday.

The lawsuit accuses the district of gross negligence, including negligent hiring and supervision, emotional distress, and of violating the woman’s civil rights under New Jersey law.

The lawsuit seeks a judgment from the district and from McGuire in the amount of more than $50 million, along with punitive damages for the defendants’ alleged “wanton disregard” of the “well-being of minors.”

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Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.


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