After Being Raped, This Texas Student Was Accused of ‘Public Lewdness’

Written by Rebecca Leber

In 2010, a student in one Texas school district reported that she’d been raped. But instead of hearing out her claim, the school quickly dismissed her and, when police did not press charges, retaliated against her. Now, for the first time in three years, Rachel Bradshaw-Bean is telling the public about how she was treated “like a prisoner” for reporting a crime.

In an interview with NBC News, Bradshaw-Bean described how she was raped by a fellow student after following him into the band room of Henderson High School. Immediately after the incident, the then-17-year-old turned to the assistant band director, only to hear that she “work it out with the boy.” Despite a medical report and Bradshaw-Bean’s own account, police did not pursue criminal charges. “We broke it down with her version of events and his,” district attorney Michael Jimerson said. “Her claims could not be substantiated. At the end of the day, I just know that objectively, there was almost no chance of a conviction. As a prosecutor, I have to be vigilant about the cases I pursue.” He said she had used language implying “consensual sex instead of forcible rape.”

“I thought, they are pushing this under the rug,” Bradshaw-Bean’s mother told NBC.

Because police did not pursue the case, the school dropped it, too. Instead, Henderson High retaliated against Bradshow-Bean for reporting the rape. They accused her and the boy of “public lewdness.” Both students were suspended and sentenced to a disciplinary school for 45 days. Not wanting to face the boy again, Bradshaw-Bean eventually transferred to another high school.

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) heard the complaint against Henderson High and found in 2012 that the school violated Title IX. The school had lacked a “legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason” for punishing Bradshaw-Bean and failed the requirement to open an internal investigation, the OCR determined.

Now 20, Bradshaw-Bean said she has decided to speak out so that rape victims know their rights when navigating schools and the justice system.

She is hardly alone in having to battle a school resistant to taking rape accusations seriously. In 2013, the Department of Education received 59 Title IX complaints regarding school reaction to sexual violence. Stories of mistreatment range from a school district in Michigan discouraging a student and the family from filing charges to the high-profile Steubenville rape case where officials were charged with assisting in a cover-up. Colleges have grappled with the same problems, although they are held to the same Title IX protections. Recently, a former college hockey player filed a lawsuit against the University of Connecticut alleging she was kicked off her team for not being “stable enough” as a rape survivor.

Most rapes are never reported to law enforcement. When they do reach police, RAINN found fewer than 10 percent of cases ever reach prosecution or a conviction. Although false rape accusations are extremely rare, cases are commonly thrown out for being “unfounded“ or lacking evidence.

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

Photo Credit: NBC News video


Jim V
Jim Ven9 months ago


Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Karen H.
Karen H4 years ago

James W, it appears you were neglected or abused by a female, probably your mother. I am deeply sorry about that. But not all mothers are neglectful or abusers, and not all men who were abused turn out to be serial killers or rapists. Your comments seem to lump all women in one basket, whereas we women don’t lump all men in one basket. There are plenty of wonderful, loving, caring, tender men in the world. What we rant about are the scumbags who treat women like objects.
What are “the ‘good’ women here at Care2 … doing to prevent maternal child abuse”? If there’s an article on that subject, you’ll see what we’re doing because we’ll comment. This article is not about that; it’s about the rape of a teenage girl on school property, where NO teenager should be engaging in sex, consensual or not.

Kim Janik
Kim Janik4 years ago

Ridiculous! And people wonder why women don't report this crime!

James Wilcox
James Wilcox4 years ago

Jane, FYI Texas has the worst record for child abuse in the US. I recently saw an ad for Friday Night Tykes, a football training "school" for boys as young as six. Nothing short of legal, violent, public child abuse.

Jane R.
Jane R4 years ago

Poly C. & Ken O. plus all the others who put down the state of Texas, is everyone in your state perfect angels? These things happen in all states. I'm sick and tired of people putting Texas and Texans down.

Ann B.
Ann B4 years ago

I am appalled and astonished at some of the remarks. I guess that's because I'm female. I have no idea what it feels like to be male and think about these things.

That said, I asked my husband and neither of us understand how anyone can come to the conclusion that what happened was OK. The school district's actions were unconscionable.

If you are male and you thought or wrote that this girl deserved it, asked for it, or must have wanted it, please think about this again. We don't know exactly what was said. It's possible that the girl didn't really know how to say no. From one of the posts, it sounds as if she was very naive. He could have used a euphemism and she didn't know that she needed to say no to it. Even if the boy believed it was consensual, what was he doing having sex in school? Just because she followed him doesn't mean she wanted him. Just because he penetrated her doesn't mean he had to remove her clothes. A lift of the skirt and a sideswipe of the panties, and you're in. Whether she should have said no more clearly or he should have been more aware of what "yes" looks like, the situation is terribly sad.

As parents, we can use this as an opportunity to be more open with our children. Let's ensure our children know about sex and know how to say no - and not trust that they know what they need to from their Sex-Ed class. To explain what sex it, how people talk about it, about our sexuality and that it's perfectly OK to be a sexual being

Cletus W.
Cletus W.4 years ago


To: James, deep within Dumbf**kistan
From: Cogency

Exactly what did all your wordy pontifications, rote repitition of other peoples' work, and off-target anecdotal deflections have to do with THIS story?

Apparently you suffer from severe delusions that you have something pertinent to say. Well, maybe you do there in Dumbf**kistan, but not out here in the real world.

Alorha Breaw
Alorha Breaw4 years ago

James W., I don't condone child abuse by Anyone. But I have to wonder, in all your references below, where was the father? grandparent? aunt or uncle? Neighbor or even teacher?

Alvi Mana
Alvi Mana4 years ago

@Scott h. -- I don't understand what law you're referring to. In cases of rape, by definition, there's only one perpetrator and one victim. Why should the victim be charged for this crime?