Pinnacle High students demand answers in alleged sex assaultPosted: Updated:
They organized it all on Twitter last night, and this morning about 100 students at Pinnacle High School protested. They were demanding answers about accusations that a 16-year-old special-needs student was raped during homecoming.
Phoenix police say they have closed the case, that no criminal act occurred, but students say they should have been informed.
"I think that it would be helpful to know what happened because I thought that there was a rapist on campus, and that was really scary," said 10th-grader Kaylee Hammond, who attended the protest.
Dozens of students say they refused to go to class this morning until the principal held an impromptu assembly to explain that Phoenix police had investigated the allegations and decided there was no rape.
The mother of the alleged victim claimed her daughter, who is identified in the police report as having the intellect of a 12-year-old, had been raped during the dance in October.
But the police report says the girl told detectives she wanted to go with the boy, even giving him her phone number.
And after the girl never identified a suspect and police conducted further interviews, investigators said it was consensual and there was no criminal act.
But the girl's mother has publicly said she believes the boy took advantage of her daughter's challenges and claims the school failed to protect her during the dance.
We spoke to students who know the alleged victim and they agree.
"I think they should have been keeping an eye on her because she is special needs," Shaley Huang said. "They should have people watch to see if people would go out to the back of the school and go to the fields."
The Paradise Valley School District has released a statement saying there were 35 chaperones at the dance, including two school resource officers from the Phoenix Police Department.
Students say the good news is, because of their protest, the conversation has been started. The school is now planning an assembly next week to talk about sexual assault and safety.