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Austin

Parents sue Lockhart ISD over sexual assault

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Parents of a teenage girl are suing Lockhart Independent School District for what they say was a failure to protect their daughter from a sexual predator.

The parents filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the district, two school officials and 28-year-old teacher and coach Thomas Knox.

They believe Knox sexually assaulted the 16-year-old girl on at least five occasions last year and that the district waited almost three months to report allegations of a teacher having sex with students.

Hays County officials arrested Knox in July for the inappropriate relationship. He's out on bail.

Lawyers for the parents say the district needs to be held accountable for not acting quickly.

"When you are in the leadership of an organization, and you receive information that you have a predator, or potentially have a predator, you have to act," attorney Jody Mask said.

Officials with Lockhart ISD responded to the lawsuit with a statement Thursday afternoon.

“The Lockhart Independent School District denies any claims of wrongdoing made against Lockhart ISD or District administrators, and intends to vigorously defend against all such allegations.”

The family’s attorneys say they hope to prevent this from happening again. They are seeking monetary damages.

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