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Alleged teen rape victim sues suspect’s family, Clark County schools

Updated June 3, 2019 - 6:36 pm

A Clark County School District student allegedly raped by fellow student Maysen Melton is suing the district and Melton’s parents, claiming both knew of his history of sexual harassment and assault but continued to allow him to attend public schools.

Melton was 16 and attending at Palo Verde High School when he was arrested in January 2018 and accused of sexually assaulting multiple teenage classmates at his previous school, Shadow Ridge High, where he was expelled after the allegations surfaced.

Prosecutors later unraveled a long history of disciplinary actions against Melton at various Clark County schools, beginning with a suspension from Bracken Elementary as a 9-year-old student for allegedly sexually harassing classmates.

Melton is awaiting trial in two cases involving five alleged sexual assault victims at Shadow Ridge, including charges of sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping and battery with intent to commit sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty.

The lawsuit, filed by one of the alleged victims, seeks over $60,000 in damages from the Meltons and the school district, claiming that she suffered from anxiety and extreme nausea after Melton allegedly raped her in March 2017 and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone.

The lawsuit, filed last week in District Court, claims the district and Melton’s parents disregarded other students’ safety by allowing him to stay in public school.

The alleged victim — referred to only as Jane Doe — was also extremely embarrassed by school staff when they approached her about the situation in front of other students at the school, according to the complaint.

“Plaintiff began looking for any reason to miss school,” the lawsuit states. “When she did attend, she could not focus and her grades took a drastic turn for the worse where she was on the verge of not graduating.”

After his first suspension from elementary school, Melton was disciplined for sexual deviancy at three Clark County middle schools, court documents show. He was expelled after groping a girl at Cadwallader Middle School, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Kristina Rhoades.

The complaint also casts blame onto Melton’s parents, Justin and Stephanie Melton, arguing that they should have had knowledge of their son’s “propensity toward sexual deviancy.” It cites state law that lists parents as liable for any misconduct of their child under age 18.

Reached by phone on Monday, Stephanie Melton said she had not seen the complaint but added that her son is innocent until proven guilty.

An attorney for the family said neither he nor the family would offer comment. Lawyers who previously represented the family said in court that Maysen Melton had been abused by an older woman before he began acting out.

The district declined to comment on the case because it is pending litigation.

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

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