Parents sue city, school principal over alleged sexual abuse

Colleen Mercurio appears for arraignment in Warwick District Court on a charge of failing to report child abuse, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (WJAR)

The parents of a student diagnosed with autism are suing their Rhode Island city and an elementary school principal saying both did nothing to protect their child from alleged sexual abuse and harassment from fellow classmates.

The Providence Journal reported that the parents -- identified by the initials B.R. and A.R. -- claim the city of Warwick and Cedar Elementary School Principal Colleen Mercurio violated their rights and the rights of their 14-year-old son under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit also claims the city failed to properly train, supervise or discipline Mercurio.

The family seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Mercurio previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to report child abuse.

Both Mercurio's lawyer and the school district declined to comment Thursday on the pending litigation.

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