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School failed to protect girl from rape during library field trip, Illinois suit says

A 13-year-old girl on a school field trip to an Illinois library was raped in the bathroom by another student, police say.

Her father claims the school failed to protect his daughter from the sexual assault, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Cody Pomrenke, 18, is accused of luring the girl into the men’s bathroom at the Aurora Public Library and raping her on April 15, according to the lawsuit obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. The two teenagers were on a field trip with Northern Illinois Academy, a psychiatric residential treatment facility, according to the lawsuit.

Sequel Youth and Family Services, which operates the school and is named in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to an email Thursday afternoon from McClatchy news group.

Northern Illinois Academy was negligent because it didn’t supervise the students, the lawsuit states, and should have known Pomrenke posed a danger to the girl. The lawsuit alleges that the school was aware Pomrenke was “grooming (the girl) for a sexual encounter.”

The school knew this process was going on,” Dan Kirschner, attorney for the 13-year-old and her family, told the Chicago Tribune. “The school had actually taken note of it and warned the defendant to stay away from her. But it doesn’t help when they put them together in a public place out of supervision.”

According to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Pomrenke was charged in May with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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