29/02/2012 10:04 GMT

Two Schoolgirls Sue School After Being Raped In Belize

Two women who were raped as teenagers during a school trip to Belize are suing their school for failing to protect them.

In the unprecedented case, the pair are arguing not enough was done by teachers on the trip to safeguard them against the rapist and are fighting to claim substantial damages.

But the school in Kent, which has not been named, and the organisers of the trip, Adventure Lifesigns Ltd, are battling against the women and say they cannot be made responsible for the criminal's actions.

The defendants also accuse the girls of inviting their attacker into their cabin for a forbidden drinking session on the evening they were raped, according to The Daily Telegraph.

An investigation was launched in 2005 after the incident. At the time, a Lifesigns spokesperson insisted the expedition had adhered to the Young Explorers Trust guidelines.

The guidelines say a leader should have the ability to manage and care for a group of young people, possess the instinct to anticipate, identity and manage risk and demonstrate the character to facilitate the expedition's aims and ethos.

One of the girls, known as "Mary" for the purposes of the trial, told the High Court her attacker plied her and her friends with rum. Later that evening, he entered the cabin she shared with four other pupils, The Daily Mail reported.

Mary added she had not cried out during the attack but she and the other victim shouted for help afterwards, although she insisted nobody came.

The school's barrister argued the attacker was not part of the group and the school had no control over his presence at the farm. He added the supervisors were not aware of the secret meetings and said the girls could be "properly relied upon to take reasonable care for themselves and to call for help if needed".