Harlingen family questions school's response to sex abuse outcry
Fri, 18 Mar 2011 00:41:45 GMT —
A Harlingen father does not want to identify himself.
He fears what could happen to his son.
Tears come to his eyes when remembering what his son said happened on a school trip with Harlingen High School South last year.
He was touching his arm pit hairs, rubbed down his groin, said the father, My son is telling him no, stop it the whole time, and he's telling my son shhh.
The father claims a student sexually assaulted his son and another student on the field trip.
He says when his son opened up about what went on, he immediately went to the high school.
According to police reports, school officials had his son and the suspect confront each other.
Reports show the school's principal, Dr. Joe Rodriguez, interviewed the suspect, making the suspect aware, he knew the suspect and his family were in the United States illegally.
The reports reveal the suspect then told the principal he would confess to the crime, if he and his family would not be deported.
Reports show the principal then pressed the suspect to only tell the truth.
In the end, reports state the suspect said he did not sexually assault the victim.
The Harlingen father says he was told nothing could be done.
"I can understand some of the difficulty of their position, said the father. But if they felt like they couldn't come to a conclusion, then they should have called the police themselves."
According to police reports, the school principal never contacted law enforcement.
Instead, the reports show the principal did his own investigation.
According to the victim TMs father, nothing was done, so he contacted police.
"They were ready to just leave it, said the father, and I was the one who had to say ~Are you crazy? TM I'm not going to let my son go to school with someone who attacked him.
Reports from the case investigator indicate the same concern.
In them, the case investigator tells the principal he was fearful that other children were at risk.
Reports show the case investigator goes on to say that the principal should have not allowed an investigation like this to occur, especially having the suspect and victim confront each other."
In the reports, the principal claims to have filled out a Child Protective Services report online.
Child Protective Services would not confirm whether the principal did file a report.
Reports show the principal did tell the investigator he and the superintendent felt the suspect had sexually assaulted the victim, but they had no proof.
Action 4 News contacted Harlingen School District Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores, even allowing him to view police reports documenting Principal Rodriguez TMs actions.
Dr. Flores refused to comment or even provide an explanation of school district policies when an outcry of sexual abuse is made.
It's this lack of response the victim's father says he's become used to.
He says he'll now wait for police to take action, while the school district stays silent.
I've been a wreck for six months, said the father, but I'm not going to be quiet."
In an effort to prove his son is telling the truth, this father says his son underwent a polygraph test.
The results show his son's responses were not deceptive.
Right now, both the son's case and the other student's case are under investigation in the county where the sexual assaults allegedly took place.