Police investigate alleged sex assault at school

May 9, 2008 5:31:43 PM PDT
Chicago Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault at a South Side elementary school this week.

Chicago police say two sixth-grade boys allegedly assaulted a classmate in a stairwell at the Chicago International Charter School's Basil campus on the city's South Side.

Because the three students allegedly involved in the incident are children, the school is not releasing details. Officials have passed the investigation along to the Chicago Police Department.

According to the mother of the alleged victim, the attack took place last Friday in a school stairwell. Fighting back tears, she told ABC7 what her 11 year-old daughter says happened.

"As she was trying to go downstairs, two boys pulled her up, threw her against the wall. One boy walking up to her unzipping his pants," said the mother on the condition of anonymity.

The girl's mother came forward to report the alleged incident this week to school administrators who notified parents and the Chicago Police Department. She has pulled her daughter from the school and is now looking to press charges.

Despite the allegations, some parents are still confident the school is safe for their children and that administrators are handling the situation well.

"It's a really good school. They are doing all that they can. That's all. I mean, they are just doing what they really can do," said parent Contesa Barrett.

However, the father of one of the boys who allegedly attacked the girl says the story has been blown way out of proportion and that the allegations surrounding the incident are not true.

"All they are doing is going by what the kids here say. They are trying to twist things around with the children, go by what the children said. Then they just go from there. I think that this is irresponsibility on the school's part," said the father on the condition of anonymity.

Beth Purvis, executive director of Chicago International Charter School, released the following statement: "All three are juveniles, the matter was quickly referred to Chicago Police, and they're investigating. In light of that and the need to protect the identities of our underage students, we can't share additional details at this time, other than to say that we're working with parents and, as always, doing everything necessary to protect the safety of our students."

The girl's mother says her daughter is OK but will undergo counseling. She's calling for greater accountability.

"I'm first hoping and praying for those little boys. I'm hoping they can get some counseling before it turns out to be something much worse. I definitely want to press charges, criminal charges and really hold the school accountable more than anybody because they are supposed to be protecting these children," said the mother.

The Area 1 Police Special Victims Unit is handling the investigation.


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