Lawsuit Filed After Alleged Rape at Santa Fe High School

The Santa Fe Public School District, its board and school officials are listed on a lawsuit, alleging an on-campus drugging and rape in 2020.

The lawsuit lists two Santa Fe school officials: Santa Fe High School principal Rachel Harris and school district superintendent Hilario Chavez.

The lawsuit alleges the school district contracted security services with Allied Universal Security Services, a limited liability company that provides security protection. It also states Allied Universal was responsible for patrolling Santa Fe school grounds.

The lawsuit also alleges that the security’s failures were documented weekly to the school district through reports. It also said that the school has areas free of supervision and students knew where.

There have been at least three instances where a student was sexually assaulted or raped by a fellow student since 2019, according to the lawsuit. It cited the bathroom and student parking lots as vulnerable spots at the high school.

The school district was also accused of raising Allied Universal’s compensation, although a possible reason for the increase was not provided in the lawsuit. The lawsuit also places blame on principal Harris, who was alleged to have declined teachers from taking roll call at the start of each period.

The standard of care that is accepted is for attendance to be taken every class period and parents or guardians are notified if their child misses a period, according to the lawsuit.

Two former students are listed as defendants: Badr el-Badri and Ameen Benhalim. El-Badri was allegedly suspended from school for a hostile encounter with a teacher but returned to campus on Sept. 13, 2020. The lawsuit also said protection was taken for the school’s teachers, but not for students.

In class, the victim was shown a security camera video that showed el-Badri being arrested for a shooting, according to the lawsuit. After returning from suspension, the student asked the victim if she wanted a Xanax.

The drug was taken and the victim began to be disoriented, unsteady, and eventually become unconscious, according to the lawsuit. El-Badri then asked Benhalim, a classmate if he could use his vehicle with the victim.

Benhalim agreed after he was paid $20 by el-Badri, according to the lawsuit. The victim was taken across campus where the lawsuit says she was sexually assaulted and raped.

Then, el-Badri allegedly placed her in a porta potty, where she was found at least half an hour later, the lawsuit states. She was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault exam found she was drugged and raped.

The lawsuit alleges the school district did not have actions in place to protect its student, citing not taking period attendance and unauthorized campus visits and students leaving. It also said no school employee or official would have known she was missing, citing her hours-long disappearance as proof.

The lawsuit cited several counts against the defendants: Sexual batter against el-Badri, Violation of the New Mexico Human and Civil Rights Act against the school district and its board, along with negligence against Allied Universal, Benhalim and the school district, and other the parents’ loss of consortium.

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