The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joseph E. Irenas, District Judge
Presently before the Court are Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary
judgment and Defendant Deptford Township Board of Education's ("Board of
Education") motion for summary judgment.*fn1 For the reasons set forth
below, Plaintiffs' motion is denied and Defendant's motion is granted.
Plaintiff K.P. was a minor and a student attending Deptford Township
High School at the time the alleged incident relevant to this case took
place. In addition, she was a member of the women's track and field team,
coached by Defendant William Corsey, III. On March 27, 1999, Plaintiff
K.P. has alleged that Defendant Corsey sexually assaulted and harassed
her after track practice.
K.P. alleges that, while she was in Corsey's automobile parked behind
some bleachers at the school, Corsey told her that he needed to conduct a
"fat test." This "fat test" involved K.P. removing her pants and
underwear and pulling up her shirt and bra while Corsey made comments
regarding her body type and specific areas of her body. In addition,
K.P. alleges that Corsey made physical contact with a private area of her
body. Following this encounter, Corsey drove K.P. home in his private
car. Defendant Corsey has pled guilty to third degree aggravated sexual
contact as a result of this incident, while not admitting to all of the
facts alleged by K.P.*fn2
Plaintiff K.P. did not immediately report the incident to any school
personnel. Instead, she first told a friend and later her boyfriend about
the incident. Almost one year after the encounter with Corsey, on March
16, 2000, the Plaintiff told her mother, Plaintiff S.C., about the events
of March 27, 1999. The next morning S.C. accompanied her daughter to
school and met with Irvin McFarland, vice principal and director of
athletics at the school, to complain about the actions of Corsey.
McFarland immediately summoned the principal of Deptford High School,
Dr. Joseph Canataro, who then proceeded to call in the assistant
superintendent of the Deptford Township school district, Marie Louis.
K.P. informed all those present about the incident that had taken place
with Corsey the year before. Louis then notified the State of New Jersey
Division of Youth and Family Services, at which point the Deptford
Township Police Department began an investigation. Corsey had already
left the school grounds and did not return. He was suspended with pay on
March 21, 2000. Upon his indictment the suspension became without pay.
When Corsey pled guilty at his criminal trial he was terminated.
"[S]ummary judgment is proper `if the pleadings, depositions, answers
to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the
facts and inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Pollock v. American Tel. & Tel. Long Lines, 794 F.2d 860, 864 (3d
Cir. 1986). The role of the court is not "to weigh the evidence and
determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a
genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
249 (1986). "[A] party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his
pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial." Id. at 248 (citation omitted).
Plaintiffs and Defendant have asked for summary judgment on the issue
of the Board of Education's liability under the New Jersey Law Against
Discrimination ("NJLAD"). In addition, the Defendant has requested
summary judgment in its favor regarding the issue of its liability under
Title IX. As the standard for liability under ...