Seneca Valley School District, District Attorney Richard Goldinger, Parents of Students Named in Federal Lawsuit for False Sexual Assault Claims
Michael J. and Alecia Flood of Zelienople, Pennsylvania have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of their son, who was accused of sexual assault by girls who “didn’t like him,” according to news reports. The lawsuit has been brought against the Seneca Valley school district, Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger’s office, and the parents of the five girls who allegedly made the false accusations. It is now being referred to as the "Mean Girls" lawsuit in national press.
The only girl named in the lawsuit as having made false accusations is 18-year-old Megan Villages. Because most of the parties directly involved in the incident are minors, their names have been withheld; the couple’s son is referred to in the suit only as T.F. The suit is seeking unspecified damages. It is not clear whether any of the accused, including Ms. Villages, have procured legal representation.
According to press reports, T.F. was accused of two incidents of sexual assault, both of which were later revealed to have been fabricated by the alleged victims. Because of the allegations against him, T.F. was reportedly fired from his job, criminally charged, put in juvenile detention for nine days, electronically monitored, and bullied by his classmates. All of the involved young people were reportedly former or current students of Seneca Valley High School, located in the suburbs of Pittsburg, PA.
The first accusation reportedly surfaced in July 2017. T.F. and Megan Villages reportedly both worked as lifeguards at the pool, where another girl, referred to as K.S. in the lawsuit, accused T.F. of assaulting her at the pool. Villages purportedly corroborated K.S.’s story. T.F. was charged in juvenile court with two counts of harassment and indecent assault, sources say. He also lost his job.
The second accusation occurred in March 2018 and was made by another girl, referred to as C.S. in the lawsuit. C.S. told a school counselor that T.F. had entered her home without an invitation and sexually assaulted her, according to the lawsuit. Two additional girls, identified only by the initials H.R. and E.S., reportedly corroborated these claims.
The ramifications of this second accusations were far more serious than those of the first one. T.F. was removed from school in handcuffs and wrist shackles and charged with indecent assault, criminal trespass and simple assault. He was put in a juvenile detention center for nine days, after which he was kept on house arrest with the aid of an ankle monitor. He was unable to hold a job or leave his home that summer due to the allegations, the lawsuit says.
However, evidence began to surface that the allegations were false. The three girls who made the second accusations against T.S. admitted that they had made up the story just a month after making the claims, sources say. In a tape-recorded interview, K.S., who had made the first accusation, admitted T.S. hadn’t touched her. “I just don’t like him,” she reportedly told school officials. “I just don’t like to hear him talk. … I don’t like to look at him.” She allegedly also says in the recording that she would do “anything” to get T.S. expelled.
By mid-September, all of the charges had been dropped, but according to the lawsuit, justice still hadn’t been served. “The Butler County District Attorney’s office promised to file a petition to expunge the record of T.F. in September, but has not yet done so,” says the lawsuit. The (district attorney) has refused to file criminal charges against K.S., Villegas, C.S., E.S. and H.R. due to gender-based discrimination.” With all the press that the case is now receiving, it is not clear whether the school district and the district attorney are considering action against the girls who made the accusations.