St. Louis teen who accused high school teacher of rape claims negligence, assault in lawsuit

ST. LOUIS • A teenager who accused a St. Louis high school physical education teacher of raping her during the Soldan High School homecoming prom last year has filed suit alleging negligence by St. Louis Public Schools and the Gateway Region YMCA, which employed the teacher.

The 16-year-old girl accused Michael Holloman, 34, of raping her last October at the downtown Hyatt Regency, 315 Chestnut Street, after attending Soldan’s dance at a different downtown hotel. The teen’s accusation led prosecutors in April to charge Holloman, of the 1000 block of Spruce Street, with statutory rape, statutory sodomy and sexual contact with a student.

Court records say the teen was a student at the Innovative Concept Academy at Blewett, 1927 Cass Avenue, and that Holloman at the time was employed by the YMCA to work as a weight room instructor at the school.

Holloman’s lawyer, Mark Hammer, declined comment.

According to the teen’s lawsuit, Holloman touched her inappropriately during exercise class, and secretly took videos of her and fellow female students. She said he also tried contacting her through social media, made surprise visits to her home, tried to isolate her during classes and “consistently flattered” her “with an intent to enter into a sexual and/or romantic relationship.”

On Oct. 11, 2016, the night of Soldan High School’s prom at the Hilton Hotel in downtown St. Louis, the girl met Holloman outside the hotel and accompanied Holloman to his room at the downtown Hyatt Regency under the ruse “of providing her with a contract for a modeling career,” the suit claims. Once there, Holloman had sex with the teen, who was 15 at the time.

The teen’s lawsuit filed Dec. 19 in St. Louis Circuit Court names Holloman, the YMCA and St. Louis Public Schools as defendants, claiming the YMCA and the school district failed to supervise Holloman or perform sufficient background checks on him before hiring him. She claims the school district also failed to protect students or enforce its sexual harassment policy.

The teen seeks at least $25,000 on each of four counts against the YMCA, St. Louis Public Schools and Holloman.

Representatives of the YMCA and St. Louis Public Schools could not be reached.

In addition to Holloman’s rape case, Holloman also has a pending charge of illegal gun possession in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

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