Former CMS student’s lawsuit goes to court after sex assault by ex-band director

CHARLOTTE — A former student is suing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools claiming the district did not do enough to protect him a decade ago when he was sexually abused by a former band director.

Maurice Grier has been waiting a long time for his day in court. Ten years have passed since his former band director at West Charlotte High School molested him while he was a student at the school. It’s been five years since police arrested Duncan Gray and charged him with the assault.

“It was a very trying time for me,” Grier said in federal court. “It tested my faith in ways. It made me not believe in God for a while. It really pushed me to my limits.”

[PAST COVERAGE: Former student’s lawsuit against CMS moves forward]

Gray pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation.

Grier’s attorney said Tuesday in an opening statement that the band director and school system downplayed a previous complaint against Gray, which could have prevented the assault.

Gray’s attorney said his client made a mistake and was sorry for what he did.

The school system’s attorney said they can’t monitor thousands of students and staff every day and the jury can’t hold CMS liable.

[PAST COVERAGE: Former West Charlotte student suing CMS, claiming teacher sexually assaulted him]

The first witness was a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department detective who investigated the case and described the assault.

Everyone agrees it was wrong but some question if CMS and the former band teacher should pay for what happened.

In 2018, Channel 9 reported that taxpayers could pay for the cost if CMS loses in court.

CMS hoped its insurance policy was enough to stop Grier from suing but a federal judge decided insurance coverage wasn’t enough to keep the case from moving forward.