YAKIMA — The parents of a 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome are suing Yakima School District No. 7 for allegedly failing to stop a disabled 5th grade boy from repeatedly sexually and physically abusing the girl while the two rode a school bus.
The lawsuit, filed by the Tamaki Law Offices in Yakima, alleges the girl was repeatedly assaulted from Sept. 2013 until March of 2014. The assaults allegedly ranged in duration from several minutes to 15 minutes each, and were often filmed by a school bus camera. The suit alleges both the bus driver and the school district were negligent, and failed to supervise its students properly.
According to the lawsuit, the abuse — which occurred on a special needs bus — included, “punching, pinching, scratching, hitting, slapping” and multiple sexual assaults. The abuse was reported on March 27 when the girl arrived home with bruises and deep scratches on her face. The family notified the school, who allegedly discovered the abuse had been happening for months. The bus driver was put on leave and the suspected perpetrator, an 11-year-old boy who also has severe disabilities, was immediately expelled.
According to police documents, the boy allegedly sat next to the victim every day. In at least one video, police said, the boy was allegedly seen manipulating the girl “like a doll,” putting her face in his lap, grabbing her crotch and kissing her.
Other children allegedly noticed the abuse, documents show, and told the boy to stop. However, he usually ignored or could not understand their requests.
The lawsuit seeks an unknown amount in damages.
The school district declined to comment on the suit when asked by the Yakima Herald:
“We don’t, as a district, respond to media requests related to active litigation,” said Jennifer Baird in the Yakima superintendent’s office. She said she would look into what action has been taken with the bus driver.
Calif. woman recalls attack, rape by homeless man — released from jail hours earlier
A rape victim in California has shared a harrowing image of her facial injuries after she was assaulted by a homeless man who had been released from jail just a few hours earlier.
Marissa Young, 44, of Torrance, was walking her dogs about 1 a.m. July 31 when she was attacked by Darrell Waters, 46, who was arrested days earlier on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of a dagger, CBS News reported, citing police.
The homeless man was released on his own recognizance about 12 hours before the brutal assault, according to the report.
“I was tackled from behind, I heard nothing,” Young told KTLA. “I didn’t have headphones in, I wasn’t looking at my phone, I was just walking straight forward to my destination.”
She said the man pushed her to the ground and raped her.
“This person punched me in the face, closed-fisted, 15 to 20 times at least,” she told the outlet. “My nose is broken in four different places and this bone was shattered here [she points to her upper cheek area]. You can still see a lot of swelling in my face.”
Young told CBS News that she fought for her life for “probably three-quarters of the attack,” which lasted for almost 30 minutes.
“It was a crime of opportunity, because I’m of small stature and my back was to him,” she told the network.
Waters, who was captured about 24 hours later a couple of miles from the site of the attack, was charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by use of force, CBS News said.
Young expressed her anger that the suspect had been released from jail so soon after his earlier arrest.
“It’s horrifying to think that they were holding this guy with a huge knife that was taken off him that’s illegal and he was let go the next day even though he has a record,” she told KTLA.
The Torrance City Attorney’s Office told the station in a statement that Waters’ release by police was “in accordance with the penal code.”
City Attorney Patrick Sullivan told CBS News that his office “does not provide any input as to the custodial status of a misdemeanor arrestee until the case is presented for filing consideration.1of5
“When the Torrance Police Department presented this case to our office for filing consideration on August 3, 2022, Mr. Waters had already been released from custody,” he added.
Young said that after undergoing five surgeries, she decided to come forward as a warning to other women in the community.
“Once something like this happens to you, it sort of changes your mind as to what the laws should be,” she told KTLA.
Her friends have launched a GoFundMe drive to help her cover the cost of living and medical expenses.What do you think? Post a comment.
“She is the brightest and shiniest person I know,” her friend Debbie wrote.
“Small in stature but big in personality, she is kind, compassionate, loves and accepts others, and is also a fierce little pocket full of dynamite. In short, she is a beautiful woman with a bright future and was set to start nursing school in the fall,” she added in the fundraiser, which had raised more than $86,000 by Tuesday morning.