The family of a Westlake high school senior is outraged after they said their son was suspended for confronting a high school football player who allegedly sexually harassed his sister.
Dominic Conti, 17, was suspended from school for five days and was stripped of his position as senior class president after he and his father were involved in a incident with a player who allegedly made profane remarks to Conti’s 15-year-old sister.
The Conti family lawyer claimed the player lunged at Dominic Conti and his father Larry Conti when they tried to talk to him. When authorities arrived, the Conti’s were detained but not charged with a crime.
“We can affirmatively state that there was no battery, no improper touching of this child,” said attorney Manny Medrano.
At a press conference Wednesday, Medrano said the district’s handling of the situation suggests the football program is more important than protecting victims of sexual harassment.
“School district, step up to the plate and do something about it,” Medrano said. “That is your job."
Dominic Conti said he was surprised when he was suspended and faced possible expulsion.
“I was really confused on what I did wrong,” Dominic Conti said. “I assure you the way I acted was in self defense.”
A man named Marcus Evans claimed he witnessed the incident and refuted Conti’s explanation of what happened. Evans said he watched as Larry Conti choked the football player.
“He’s a fake,” Evans said during a tense exchange with the family.
Medrano said the Conti family is in the process of appealing the incident. If the appeal is unsuccessful, Medrano said a lawsuit would be filed against the high school and the Conejo Valley Unified School District.
Medrano said the family wants the suspension revoked from Dominic Conti’s record, and an apology from the district.