Police: Boy was charged in Eberwhite Elementary sexual assault
Previous story: Lawsuit: 8-year-old sexually assaulted twice by classmate at Ann Arbor's Eberwhite Elementary School
The boy accused of a sexual assault at Eberwhite Elementary School in March was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct, Ann Arbor police said.
Ann Arbor police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush confirmed Tuesday the boy was charged with one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and second-degree criminal sexual conduct as the result of an incident on March 22 in the bathroom of a special education classroom at the school.
The current status of the criminal case against the boy, who is not being named because he is a juvenile, was not immediately clear Tuesday afternoon.
Chris Asadian | AnnArborcom
A lawsuit filed last week in federal district court alleges the boy went into a bathroom in a special education classroom and pulled an 8-year-old classmate girl off a toilet. The lawsuit states the boy kissed her, took off both his and the girl’s clothing and attempted to engage in oral sex.
Following that alleged sexual assault in March, the girl told police the same boy in the same bathroom assaulted her in October, the lawsuit stated. She told police she and another girl were changing into their Halloween costumes in the bathroom when the boy and another boy, both of whom were known to bully the victim, entered the bathroom, according to the lawsuit.
The boy who assaulted her in March attempted to engage the girl in oral sex, the lawsuit alleges, and the other boy attempted to remove the other girl’s clothing.
It was the first time anyone, including the girl's mother, had been notified of the October assault, the lawsuit alleges.
Bush said police were notified in March by hospital personnel when the girl's mother, after learning of the assault, the day after the assault, took her to be examined by doctors, who are required to notify police of crimes. A petition, the juvenile version of charges, was approved by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office on April 25. Bush said there is a very limited amount of information police could release about the incident because it involved juveniles.
“They did report it and we did investigate it,” Bush said.
The family of the girl, who is not being named because she is the victim of a sex crime, is suing Ann Arbor Public Schools for $75,000 plus costs, attorney fees and any other relief permitted by law.
The lawsuit alleges that Ann Arbor Public Schools failed to protect the girl from bullying and two sexual assaults, “which significantly interfered with her ability to fully utilize the defendant’s educational services.”
The lawsuit alleges the district violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Persons with Disability Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitative Act, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title IX, according to the lawsuit.
Ann Arbor schools spokeswoman Liz Margolis said Monday the district does not comment on pending cases.
Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow him on Twitter.
Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.
I am happy that the hospital followed their procedures. Schools do not always do what they are supposed to. I am a parent of a middle school student who was sexually harrassed. Nothing was done about it and now that child is waging an intimidation campaign against mine. Since there have not been any witnesses to this, (except for his girlfriend and her best friend, and you know they aren't going to tell on each other) nothing is being done. I can honestly say that as a parent I am astounded and what goes on at schools. There is not enough being done to safe guard our children. School is supposed to be a safe place, not a place to be feared. There has to be a way of handling these situations without letting them escalate.
Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.
Anyone know what happened today on the playground at the school? The principal just sent out an email. Was there another sexual assault today??? WTH is going on at this school?? I am ready to take my kids out of the school. Lets get it together staff!!!
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.
this kid has a major problem
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.
According to the Michigan Department of Human Services, the teachers and principals at the time were and are mandated by law to report the suspected abuse, not "sweep it under the rug." See this link: <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5452_7119_44443-157836--,00.html" rel='nofollow'>http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5452_7119_44443-157836--,00.html</a>
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.
Parental Responsibilities and Child Behavior : Firstly, let me say that it is a joy to behold the photo image of this School Building. The Building represents the legacy of Eber White and family. We are indeed blessed to be part of a community where people have contributed so much to improve the qualities of our lives. The Building has a name, a reputation, a character of its own. Parents sending their children to this Building must acknowledge the sense of grace and peace the School and the Woods that confer on us. The kids involved in this incident have some emotional disabilities if not physical disabilities. The boy is charged with a crime and it will not be of any comfort to our hearts. We have to look at ourselves to understand this mess, the problem of deviant behavior. What is influencing the child's mind, and behavior? The bathroom is located within the classroom. A child entered the bathroom without seeking permission and without notifying the adult present in the classroom. Another child followed the first child without seeking permission and without giving notice. When a group of children are present, the adult could be engaged by a few while others are expected to show some responsible behavior. Children must be taught to behave in a respectful manner at their homes. Without respect and obedience, there is no purpose to enter a School Building and tarnish its image and reputation. We have a duty to prepare our children at our homes to receive the benefit of entering the blessed buildings in our community.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.
Okay, now after that little trip to NeverNeverland, let's get back to reality ;) Yes, parents SHOULD prepare their kids in their homes how to act in public and to respect their fellow man. But not all of them do or they can't or they try the best they can (this was a special ed. class, if you've discovered some magical way to have kids with learning disabilities/autism always act appropriately in public, i'm sure there are thousands of parents waiting to hear it). Just because we think the world SHOULD be as you described, it doesn't mean we give a pass when bad things happen. And the school used extremely poor judgement in communicating this incident to all the appropriate people, including the parents.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.
This whole situation is just awful. What happened to the little girl is terrible and I hope she can get the help she needs. What I also wonder is, how does a young boy know about oral sex? How has he come to being oversexualized at such a young age (whatever the undisclosed age may be)? Maybe I misjudge what elementary age kids know now, but that seems to be beyond what young kids should know about. Was he also abused?
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.
Wow, three young person's lives destroyed an one mum Ann Arbor schools spokeswoman. Class act!
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 11:23 a.m.
I'm wondering whether AAPS administrators have a disincentive to acknowledge problems at their schools. Do such problems result in poor performance evaluations? How are school administrators evaluated? Complaints filed by parents?
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:01 a.m.
The boy's can't be held accountable for this traumatizing event. First and foremost, they are still in their critical stage of maturation, "Baby's no less. They are only reflecting the behavior they see through their close environment. Just the fact that they are 8 years old tells me that they themselves have been sexually abused, and are just repeating what they have once experienced. It's best that they be placed in a foster home far away from where they lived, with no other kids living with them, who would be subject to this behavior. Next, they should go to intensive behavioral therapy. So there is no way that they can be help accountable, and they need to look further into the psychology behind the behavior. I call this abuse of the sexual defenders list, and no one will take it serious if it's can't be trusted with real offenses. This is just children reflecting what they themselves may have witnessed or experienced, either-way it is still sexual abuse that put the boys in this state of mind..
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.
Thanks Cinco, I still stick to my statement though. Around here they will always be known for what they may have done. If they leave, they may have a chance to restart their lives. I'm quite sure that every kid in that school knows about this and know both victim and the aggressors. If they were to leave and get a fresh start, their chances are many times better to make a reasonable recovery, in which they have little chance here because they will be socially retarded in the sense that they will not be welcomed or allowed to hang out.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.
I agree with a lot you say here Joe. Except for necessarily putting them in a foster home. It is a possibility that their home is safe, but that their community, friends, neighbors or extended family is not. And that could be the same at a foster home. No, if it is determined that their primary residence is safe, treatment can be done from there. The girl has been traumatized, but I agree that the boy(s) probably have been also. Unfortunately, because they now appear to be the aggressors, they will not get as much understanding, care. But, for the sake of our society, they need it just as much.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 6:34 a.m.
For those of you who are outraged about a young child being charged with this sort of crime, the process is followed because it is usually the first step in getting help for the offending student. Obviously, this child's behavior is very disturbing. In this case, it is probable that Child Protective Services are involved. Acting out sexually is often a sign that the offending student was himself abused, has witnessed abuse or has been exposed to others in sexual situations--all damaging and inappropriate for young children to experience. I hope that CPS is doing an investigation and assisting this child and his family. Unfortunately, the boy may be as damaged in what he has been exposed to as the young girl. (I'm NOT saying it wasn't as bad for the girl, by any means). Delving into family situations when abnormal behaviors arise can be shocking and disturbing. Then again, that may not be the case at all in this situation, but it is obvious that both children need extensive counseling to work through this.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:43 a.m.
The principle should be charged for the attempt to dissuade the mother from going to the police. Is there a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in AAPS?
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:47 a.m.
I see no age given for the accused boy. Is that correct? If so, then it's a presumption that he's the same age as the girl. I've known of cases where teens from nearby middle schools have come to a grade school and abused the younger students. (Just as example, not stated as "fact.") On the matter of charges being brought against him: it would be interesting to see a more complete explanation for this action. Assertions about the rightness or wrongness of it are premature, I think. Likewise, assertions about that particular boy's ability (or competence) to know the nature of his actions are, at this time, also premature. I'm sure we all want to know more about this boy, does he represent a danger now and in the future? Of course, community interest correctly focuses on the handling of this case. Sadly, again we're seeing another institution which is supposed to provide a safe environment letting down on the job. Much of our "security infrastructure" seems to be useless. Could this be the result of an Iranian / Syrian / North Korean plot? Call George Bush immediately, have him launch another round of invasions. Oh wait, he no longer has that option (thank God).
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:28 a.m.
first, what if it were your daughter? on the flip side, what if it were your son? there are way too many unknown facts here to speculate, point fingers, place blame and so on. both children here were victimized , both will need counseling.. and if both are DD then probably some extended learning sessions..and a great amount of love and understanding. the school should have reported when the first incident occured, this is true.. far too little is being done by schools in general these days when it comes to bullying.. and most schools, it seems do not have the resourses to educate these extrodinary children..
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.
Well said AJ.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.
I hope consideration is given for reporting the alleged perpetrator to CPS after carefully interviewing him. The behaviors which he is accused of exhibiting are learned behaviors, not normally in a child's repertoire. Who did he learn this from? What has been done to him? Is someone coaching him?
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.
Many of you are asking questions about the criminal case. Thankfully, we won't know much about that in order to protect all parties, including the victim. This story is now about the school district and how they handle things. It was the hospital that notified police, not the school. I really wonder how many times the school reports crimes of assault to the police. As a parent, I have been told by school officials that there are no consequences for kids who assault other children. Instead, there are learning opportunities. I'm talking serious assaults not playground scuffles. It is only a learning opportunity if you do not know right from wrong. These kids know right from wrong. When they choose wrong, they must be accountable for their actions and suffer consequences! This is certainly a serious situation and it is not clear if the district was aware of the incidents but my experience shows that the schools do not follow their own policies regarding such matters.
Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.
No one gets in trouble at this school. My daughter told me a boy in her grade showed everyone his privates on the playground and all he got was a talking. Not even suspended. And my 7 year old just told me a 1st grader did the same thing this year and nothing happened. WTH Eberwhite. I love the school but our kids protection needs to come first!
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.
Kyle, according to the story these students were in a contained classroom. What are the potential ages/grades that can be in one classroom? Does the victim being 8 mean the boy who was charged is 8 or thereabouts, or could he be on the older end of elementary school, like 10 or 11?
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.
You've been rebuked? As in reprimanded? Or just refused?
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.
This is something that we're actively trying to find out. Lt. Bush declined to give me that information when directly asked today, citing the fact that the suspect is a juvenile and she could not release that information. We've been rebuked by the district when attempting to find out more information about this case, but the ages of the boys involved is something we're actively investigating.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.
This is certainly not the first time that AAPS has ignored sexual and dangerous bullying of students. I hope this lawsuit has them reconsider policies and training.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:36 a.m.
@annarborexpat: You are right about that; AAPS does ignor dangerous bullying of students. Our family has first-hand experience with an assault at Pioneer several years ago with our child. He was hit in the head, from behind, and the assault ruptured his eardrum. The student that hit him was a special education student. He had been a bully all semester, the assault was unprovoked, and there were many witnesses. The principal and police officer at Pioneer urged us NOT to press charges. We did file charges, and the case was moved outside of Washtenaw county because the boy's parent coincidentally happen to work in the prosecutor's office. The boy was expelled for a few days, and his parents paid our minimal medical expenses. AAPS tried to get us to sweep this assault under the rug. They certainly need to reconsider their policies, I agree.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.
In a recent story about a local pediatrician, commenters were warning everyone not to jump to conclusions until we heard both sides of the story. Prudent advice. But here, when we only have one side of a story and don't even know if the case was dropped, we're going after an 8-year-old boy. I do believe there needs to be a full investigation, or if there already was one, we should know how it turned out. In the meantime, we might want to wait before expressing a fixed opinion either way.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:32 a.m.
I repeat: what is the evidence; what are the facts?
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.
I agree with Burl. With all the evidence cited I wonder what would it take to convince you that a serious crime has been committed? If there is a reasonable defense of the boy, it'll come out later.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:12 a.m.
Can you please share the facts with me? We have a lawyer's allegations and police report on one side. That's it. I'm not defending anyone or accusing anyone, just saying let's wait until we know more.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 12:43 a.m.
No one is calling for life in prison for these boys. If you personally know one of these boys then I am sorry, perhaps you can shed some light that the News is not. However, what you are doing is reading the facts, the facts that are, yes one sided but backed up by multiple investigations, and you are demanding more proof. Sure the police ran an investigation and thought to freakin charge the boy with the facts present, but somehow that isn't good enough for you. An inability to process facts, a absurd one sided approach to looking at the story, I hope you never get on a jury
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.
Whatever the case, her parents should have been notified IMMEDIATELY! It is unacceptable that there was not more done in order to protect her.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.
What if this boy has been sexually assaulted? We already know that the boy has "special needs", what is the extent of his developmental disability? What if he doesn't know that what he did was wrong? It is senseless to charge a little boy with a crime that he may not even know he committed. This is wrong. Our overly-litigious society is ruining everything. What happened to apologizing and moving on? The district did the wrong thing by delaying the transfer of the girl to another school but to charge the boy with a crime is ridiculous. He is just a child.
Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.
I DO NOT agree to what happened. But I do believe these boys are/were molested or have seen their parents in the act. Not saying what was right in any way. I have 3 small kids and I would have done the same thing this mother did! Very brave!
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 3:08 a.m.
Veronica, according to information gathered from the website childwelfare.gov the following protocol MUST be adhered to when cases of child abuse (including sexual) are suspected: "Approximately 48 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands designate professions whose members are mandated by law to report child maltreatment.1 Individuals designated as mandatory reporters typically have frequent contact with children. Such individuals may include: Social workers Teachers and other school personnel Physicians and other health-care workers Mental health professionals Child care providers Medical examiners or coroners Law enforcement officers" This is the heart of the lawsuit... On the other hand you have a good point, that the perpetrator may not be accountable for their actions. The juvenile justice system will take that into account.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:21 a.m.
Please Veronica, this isn't a case of kids "playing doctor"! This behavior shows that something somewhere is very wrong and needs attention.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.
I don't see anything in the article stating that the boy is or was a special needs student. It also doesn't state that he was 8 years old. He could have been as old as 11 or 12 if he was in the 5th grade.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.
Veronica, When I was growing up if a boy had been in a girls lavatory he would have been expelled. If a boy had tried toforcibly tried to undress a girl he would have been expelled. I'm not sure if he was trying to give or receive oral sex, but either way he would have been expelled. I'm not living in the past but this is not about apologizing and moving on.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.
Oh, you were sexually terrorized and traumatized in a bathroom at school.....I apologize, now move along. Are you kidding me???
J. A. Pieper
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.
Sometimes the only way to get a response to a bullying situation in the AAPS is to file a police report, otherwise the behavior gets swept under the carpet. Although the new superintendent feels the need to work on the discipline gap in the AAPS, the district as a whole really does not want to admit they have a bullying problem! I must disagree with your question about apologizing and going on... that is okay if someone does something by accident, but when serious things happen, there has to be more of a consequence.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.
Still only getting one side of the story.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.
sh1, I think that you are right - there are two sides to this story. Actually, maybe three sides because one side is the teacher/supervisor side. To me, that is the most highly accountable side since they were the adults in this situation. As for the other two sides - in my opinion, and it is probably not shared by most, both of them have been victimized. Clearly, for whatever reason, these boys either do not know, or can not easily engage in, appropriate behavior. So, there is either a mental/emotional issue which will always be a challenge for them, a societal/cultural issue which they will always have to deal with and that they will have to learn to respond to differently, or a familial/learned issue that has been damaging to them. Or, a combination of all three. It appears that there was some peer pressure involved, additionally. These boys are kids! Should they know better? Yes. Are they still easily "influenceable"? Yes. I would hold off on the blame and concentrate on what led them to this point, and most importantly what can be done so that they are capable and willing to display appropriate behavior in the future. Punishment and blame of young children do not resolve underlying issues. Our society is more likely to give appropriate care to the girl, but it does not mean that the boys do not need it also.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.
You're too late...I'm 3 and 0.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.
I meant I hope you're never on any jury.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.
shi, if the son said he did it then there would be no reason for a jury. And, eight year olds generally don't go in front of juries.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.
a2citizen, I hope you are never on a jury.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.
What do you expect the other side to say? I would guess: "My son would never do anything like that". So that's the other side of the story. Now what?
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.
This story was sickning at the time the crime was committed and still is. (an 8 year old little girl) So sad!
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.
So true - that is exactly what is happening. And, sooooo sad.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:20 a.m.
How about the sexualization of children when a 9 year old BOY thinks such behavior is ok or cool? How sad for everyone.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.
Hmmm. Incident happened in March, police investigated in April, and in February we find the boy is being charged. Did the AAPD try to keep this under their hats so as to protect the AAPS? Or are they just that backlogged? Either way, not good for AAPD. And it looks like AAPS seriously needs to do an anti-bullying campaign.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.
ViSHa - Yes
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.
Was the boy charged last April and it has just become public knowledge due to the lawsuit?
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.
We're currently waiting to hear from an official within the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office about where this case is at currently. Not knowing the name of the boy that was charged makes it a tad more difficult and causing it to take longer, unfortunately.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.
It seems like the DA would have followed through once the report was made to the police.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.
"...Bush said there is a very limited amount of information police could release about the incident because it involved juveniles..." AAPD could not release details because the offender is a juvenile. The reason the story came to light is because the family filed a civil lawsuit.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.
I appreciate the courage it takes to attempt to hold the school accountable. Thanks to the family for possibly helping the schools learn that they need to be conscious of these situations and protect our students. Hopefully, both boys will also get intensive - appropriate - help to lessen the likelihood that they will offend again.
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.
Good to know that the hospital followed procedures: "Bush said police were notified in March by hospital personnel when the girl's mother, after learning of the assault, the day after the assault, took her to be examined by doctors, who are required to notify police of crimes." Take note: UM To keep incidents from "falling through a crack" don't have staff send cases to general counsel for review. Notify police.