A former student waited too long to sue District of Columbia charter schools over years of sexual abuse by a teacher, a federal court in Washington ruled.

Plaintiff “Jane Doe” suffered the abuse by middle school teacher Alan Coleman from 2004 to 2009. But she couldn’t get past the schools’ arguments that her 2018 lawsuit was filed years too late, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said Jan. 3.

Doe couldn’t take advantage of a court rule that would extend the time for filing her sexual abuse claims, the court said.

That discovery rule, which typically applies...