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Disabled girl gang-raped by students in Starbucks bathroom, lawsuit claims

A Starbucks Coffee shop sits on Murray Avenue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan 21, 2024. The mother of an intellectually disabled girl who allegedly was led from school grounds by three male students and sexually assaulted in the Starbucks bathroom and a nearby empty building filed a lawsuit Wednesday, Jan 24, 2024, accusing Starbucks, Pittsburgh Public Schools and a property management company of negligence. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


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An intellectually disabled teen was gang raped by group of her high school classmates inside the bathroom of a Pittsburgh Starbucks, a lawsuit filed by her devastated mother claims.

Three male students at Taylor Allderdice High School led the then-15-year-old victim off campus in October 2022 and took her one of the coffee giant’s location, where they took turns sexually assaulting her.

The boys then took her to an empty building, where one of them continued the attack, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

“Pittsburgh Public Schools failed to create a safe environment for my client to go to and from school when it knew that she needed one,” the family’s attorney, Alec Wright, told The Associated Press.

The lawsuit also names 101 Kappa Drive Associates #1, the empty building’s management company.

The names of the women and her daughter were withheld from the lawsuit to protect the girl’s identity.

“Starbucks and Kappa failed to protect my client from the violence of others when they knew their businesses were causing criminal activity to occur. The painful result was her sexual assault,” Wright said.

Starbucks employees witnessed the boy’s entering the bathroom with the girl and did not intervene, the lawsuit alleges.

The girl was initially unable to communicate what had happened to her, but days later her mom said the school notified her the her daughter was found crying because of a rumor that three boys had sex with her.

She took the girl for a medical exam that she said showed positive signs of sexual assault, which she reported to police — but more than a year later, no charges have been filed.

“When we learned of these allegations, we acted with extreme urgency to support law enforcement throughout their investigation,” a Starbucks rep told The AP in a statement.

She took the girl for a medical exam that she said showed positive signs of sexual assault, which she reported to police — but more than a year later, no charges have been filed.

A police spokesperson told the outlet that the District Attorney’s Office decided not to pursue charges and that the case had been closed, while a rep for the public school system said the district does not comment on pending litigation.

Kappa could not be reached for comment. A real estate company that handles rentals at several of its properties did not immediately respond to a message.

The lawsuit alleges that Starbucks and Kappa failed to act on the widely known issues with crime by not creating policies or training employees on how to keep patrons safe, and by not providing security measures.

The girl’s IQ was determined to be around 65, and then below 60 on a second test, placing her in the lowest 1% of students intellectually, the filing states.

It alleges that during her first months at the school, she was left unsupervised and allowed to either wander the halls or hide in the bathroom during class.

“It just makes me feel angry to know that there was such little oversight or protection for my daughter. If she leaves in the morning to go to school, then she should return home from school safe,” the mother told The AP.

“Taylor Allderdice let her be lured off campus, and Starbucks let her be attacked in its bathrooms. It’s all just so frustrating and disheartening. It’s just very hard to describe,” she added.

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