A lawsuit will soon be filed on behalf of the family of a young child
abducted from her Philadelphia school and subsequently raped, an act that garnered widespread media coverage and raised questions about adequate school district security.
Attorney Tom Kline, of the Philadelphia firm Kline and Specter, announced that within the next 30 days, he plans to file a civil rights complaint on behalf of the 5-year-old kindergartner who was sexually assaulted after she was taken out of her city school.
In a message posted to the law firm’s website, Kline stated that the school district’s conduct went far beyond ordinary negligence, and he hopes a federal suit would focus attention on the need for improved security in Philadelphia schools.
The young girl, whose name is being withheld, was taken from Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia last year by a woman dressed in full Muslim garb who posed as the child’s mother, according to past news reports.
The child was then reportedly taken to a house about two blocks away and raped.
A sanitation worker found the young girl partially clothed early the following morning at a playground in Upper Darby, Delaware County, which straddles West Philadelphia.
Late last month, Kline told the Philadelphia Daily News that the case represented a “breakdown that went far beyond ordinary negligence.
“It’s already been admitted by the school district that they violated practices, policies and procedures,” the attorney told the newspaper in a Feb. 24 article.
A then-19-year-old woman named Christina Regusters, who had worked at an after-school program attended by the child, was subsequently arrested by Philadelphia police and charged with rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, conspiracy and other charges.
Authorities believe others were likely involved in the plot to take the child from her school.