Riverside Student Rejects District Settlement In Rape Suit

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) – The family of an Eleanor Roosevelt High School senior who says she was raped on campus as a freshman rejected a proposed settlement Tuesday from the Corona-Norco Unified School District, claiming the district was trying to victimize their daughter.

In September 2013, when Lexi Oppelt was 14, she says she was raped by two football players. According to a lawsuit filed by her parents against the school district, she was “suddenly forced into the handicapped stall. There, both assailants took turns.”

Ten days after the alleged rape occurred, a different freshman girl claimed she was raped in another bathroom at Eleanor Roosevelt High. Oppelt alleges, Kenechukwu Uguweze, the boy accused of being involved in the second rape, is the same boy who led the attack against her.

In December, Uguweze pleaded guilty to the forcible rape of two 18-year-old victims in Santa Barbara. He was sentenced to six years in state prison. He is also facing charges in two more rape cases in Riverside County.

Oppelt’s family says CNUSD wants her to sign a settlement agreement that requires her to apologize to the district for waiting two weeks before she reported the rape, an allegation she disputes.

Lexi’s father, Scott Oppelt, did not mince words when he addressed the school board Tuesday evening.

“Why are you forcing her to lie in order to put this behind her?” Scott Oppelt asked.

The family says the district also wants her to swear that no school district employee told her “she wanted it,” even though she and her parents say that is precisely what happened. According to her lawsuit, Lexi alleges that when she told Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigators and school officials what happened to her, they both told her “she wanted it” and “it was like they didn’t even care.”

“I want you guys to look at that girl, and you tell her she wanted it,” Scott added.

“I’m not going to sign something when it’s totally false,” Lexi told CBS2 Tuesday.

“Why wouldn’t you apologize to me for the damage that I’ve been through? But instead, you want me to apologize for something that I never asked for.”

Lexi says the settlement offer also requires her never to speak about the rape or the district’s response.

“They said that I can’t tell people about my story, which I found really crazy, because it happened to me,” Lexi said. “So, why can’t I tell my story?”

CNUSD said it will not respond to the lawsuit because it is district policy not to comment on any matters that are subject to litigation.

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